NORTH BAY — The man believed to be the oldest surviving ex-NHLer, Chick Webster, died yesterday in Mattawa. He was 97.
Born in Toronto, Webster played 14 games for the Rangers in the 1949-50 season, did not score any goals or get any assists, but racked up four minutes in penalties.
He moved to Mattawa in 1970 where his wife’s parents lived.
"The whole community is mourning the loss of Chick," Mattawa Mayor Dean Backer told BayToday. "He was a true gentleman, scholar, humble and a good guy. He lived a good life."
Backer remembers his friend well.
"He was always at the arena, always joyful and being positive to all the kids. He was an avid ambassador for Mattawa especially to all the little guys who came to the rink for minor hockey.
"I for one will miss our chats about family, Mattawa and our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs!" Backer remembered.
Webster's nickname, Chick, was given to him in his playing days for his love of chewing Chiclets gum. He was known for his stickhandling abilities.
After joining the Rangers at age 29, a broken wrist ended his career with the team and he finished his career in the minors, retiring in 1953.
The Chick Webster Award, sits in the trophy case at the Mike Rodden Arena for players in the town who demonstrate leadership and respect, and an autographed picture of Webster hangs in a spot of honour behind the cash register at Mattawa's Mr Gas location.
His wife, Leona, died in 2009 of Alzheimer’s disease.
His brother Don also played briefly in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1943.