Tim Horton

Infobox Ice Hockey Player

image_caption =
image_size = 230px
position = Defenceman
shoots =
shot = Right
height_ft = 5
height_in = 10
weight_lb = 180
league = NHL
played_for = Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Rangers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Buffalo Sabres
nationality = Canada
birth_date = birth date|1930|1|12
birth_place = Cochrane, Ontario
death_date = Death date and age|1974|2|21|1930|1|12
death_place = St. Catherines, Ontario
career_start = 1949-50
career_end = 1973-74
halloffame = 1977
website =

Miles Gilbert "Tim" Horton (January 12, 1930 – February 21, 1974) was a Canadian professional hockey defenceman from Cochrane, Ontario. He played 22 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. He was also a businessman and the co-founder of Tim Hortons, Canada's largest coffee and doughnut store chain. He died in a car accident in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Playing career

Tim Horton grew up playing in the mining country near Sudbury, Ontario. The Toronto Maple Leaf organization signed him, and in 1948 he moved to Toronto to play junior hockey and attended St. Michael's College School.

Two years later, he turned pro with the Leafs' farm team, the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League, and most of his first three seasons were spent with Pittsburgh. He played in his first NHL game on March 26, 1950. He started to play regularly for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fall of 1952. He remained a Leaf until 1970, winning four Stanley Cups. Horton later played for the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. Horton was known for his tremendous strength and calmness under pressure, and had relatively few penalty minutes for an enforcer-type defenceman. Horton was a hard-working and durable defenceman who was also an effective puck carrier–in 1964-65 he played right wing for the Leafs. He was named an NHL First Team All-Star three times (1964, 1968, and 1969). He was selected to the NHL Second Team three more times (1954, 1963, 1967). He appeared in seven National Hockey League All-Star Games.

Between February 11, 1961 and February 4, 1968, Horton appeared in 486 consecutive regular-season games; this remains the Leafs club record for consecutive games and was the NHL record for consecutive games by a defencemen until broken by Kārlis Skrastiņš on February 8, 2007. On March 12, 1955, he had suffered a broken leg and jaw after being checked by Bill Gadsby of the New York Rangers. The injuries were so severe that he missed much of the following season, and there had been some doubt as to whether he would ever be able to return to the game.

Horton had a reputation for enveloping players who were fighting him in a crushing bear hug. Boston Bruins winger Derek Sanderson once bit Horton during a fight; years later, Horton's widow, Lori, still wondered why. "Well," Sanderson replied, "I felt one rib go, and I felt another rib go, so I just had—to, well, get out of there!"Fact|date=February 2007

Injuries and age were little more than minor inconveniences to Horton, who was generally acknowledged as the strongest man in the game while he was playing. Declared Chicago Blackhawks winger Bobby Hull, perhaps the only NHL player more muscular than Horton, "There were defensemen you had to fear because they were vicious and would slam you into the boards from behind, for one, Eddie Shore. But you respected Tim Horton because he didn't need "that" type of intimidation. He used his tremendous strength and talent to keep you in check."Fact|date=February 2007

In 1962, he scored 3 goals and 13 assists in 12 playoff games, setting a Leafs team record for playoff points by a defenceman that was tied in 1978 by Ian Turnbull and was not broken until 1994, when David Ellett registered 18 points.

Horton wore the number 7 while playing for the Leafs, the same number worn by King Clancy from 1931-32 to 1936-37. The team declared both Horton and Clancy honoured players at a ceremony on 21 November 1995, but did not retire the number 7 from team use; instead, it became an Honoured Jersey Number, [cite web
publisher = Toronto Maple Leafs
title = Alumni Bio - Tim Horton
url = http://mapleleafs.nhl.com/team/app?service=page&page=NHLPage&bcid=tea_alu_thorton
accessdate = 2008-04-06
] abiding by Leafs honours policy. [cite web
author = John Iaboni
publisher = Toronto Maple Leafs
title = "Honoured Players Process Different For Leafs" in "Leafs Game Day, Issue No. 3, 2005-06"
url = http://mapleleafs.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NHLPage&id=12744
accessdate = 2007-04-06

Clancy once lamented, "If he'd only get angry, no one would top him in this league." Fact|date=February 2007 But Horton believed that he had taken too many penalties early in his career because of his "hot temper".

Career statistics

Doughnut industry

In 1964, Horton opened his first Tim Horton's Donut Shop in Hamilton, Ontario.cite book|title=The Canadian Hockey Atlas|first=Stephen|last=Cole|publisher=Doubleday Canada|year=2006|id=ISBN 978-0-385-66093-8 (0-385-66093-6)] He even added a few of his culinary creations to the initial menu. By 1967, Horton had partnered with investor Ron Joyce, who quickly took over operations and expanded the chain into a multi-million dollar franchise system.

In addition to over 2700 locations in Canada, Buffalo, New York has over 80 Tim Horton's Doughnut Shops, and they can be found in Detroit, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; and other American cities, mainly in the Northeast and the Great Lakes region.

Joyce's son has married Horton's daughter, returning the Horton family to the company.


Early on the morning of February 21 1974 Horton was driving on the Queen Elizabeth Way from Toronto to his home in Buffalo, after his Sabres had played an away game in Toronto the night before, in his white De Tomaso Pantera sports car (a gift from Sabres' GM George "Punch" Imlach). He was negotiating a curve on the QEW where it crosses over Twelve Mile Creek in St. Catharines when he lost control and hit a cement culvert. The impact flipped the vehicle and Horton was thrown. He was not wearing a seat belt. Horton was reported dead on arrival at the local hospital. A police officer pursuing Horton's vehicle said that he had been travelling at over 160 km/h (100 mph).

There were reports Horton had consumed a considerable amount of vodka, and was rumoured to have been taking pain killers due to a jaw injury suffered in practice the day before. An autopsy report released in 2005 showed Horton had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit. The blood test also showed signs of amobarbital, which was possibly a residue from the Dexamyl pills that were found on Horton's body. The autopsy showed no indication Horton was taking painkillers as previously thought.

Not long after Horton's death, Joyce offered Lori Horton (Tim's widow) $1 million for her shares in the chain, which included forty stores by that time. Once she accepted his offer, Joyce became the sole owner. Years later, Mrs. Horton decided that the deal between her and Joyce was not fair and took the matter to court. Mrs. Horton lost the lawsuit in 1993, and was declined for appeal in 1995. Lori died in 2000. [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pif&GSln=horton&GSfn=tim&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=10450&PIgrid=10450&PIcrid=639389&ShowCemPhotos=Y&]

Tim Horton is buried in York Cemetery, Toronto. [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=horton&GSfn=tim&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=10450&] .

Awards and achievements

* 1961-62 – Stanley Cup
* 1962-63 – Stanley Cup Champion
* 1963-64 – Stanley Cup Champion
* 1966-67 – Stanley Cup Champion
* 1977 – Inducted (posthumously) into the Hockey Hall of Fame
* 1996 – Number 2 retired by the Buffalo Sabres
* 1998 Ranked number 43 'The Hockey News"' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.


External links

* [http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0009789 The Canadian Encyclopedia: Tim Horton]
* [http://www.timhortons.com/en/about/bio_timhorton.html Biography at Tim Hortons corporate site]

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