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Former Blackhawk Earl Balfour dies at age 85

The Spider was a member of Chicago’s 1961 Stanley Cup championship team.

San Jose Sharks v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Four Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images

Earl Balfour, a member of the Chicago Black Hawks’ 1961 Stanley Cup championship team, died from cancer April 27 in the Cambridge, Ontario area, according to an obituary published in the Toronto Star.

He was 85.

Chicago claimed Balfour in the intra-league draft in June 1958 from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Balfour, nicknamed “Spider”, played in more than 200 games in three seasons with Chicago. He played in all 12 playoff games during the Black Hawks’ 1961 Stanley Cup championship run.

During the offseason, the Boston Bruins claimed Balfour. He never played in the NHL again. He spent the next two seasons in the AHL with the Pittsburgh Hornets.

Balfour was reinstated as an amateur in 1964 and joined the Galt Hornets in the Ontario Hockey Association Sr. League, where he became a player-coach. After three seasons, he resigned and joined the Toronto Marlboros before finishing his career during the 1968-69 season with the Orillia Terriers.

Balfour is survived seven of his nine children: Penny, Peggy, Patti, Paul, Peter (deceased), Pamela, Piper, Patrick (deceased) and Parker. He also had 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.