Jim Pappin played two successful seasons of junior hockey with the Toronto Marlboros from 1958 to 1960, before leaping into the minor pros for three years of seasoning. As property of the Leafs, he arrived in time to have Punch Imlach as his boss. Pappin credits Imlach for pushing him to become a better two-way player. But otherwise, the two found little common ground, especially regarding matters of money.
As such, Pappin played well enough to make the club each year from 1963-68. But during those years, Imlach took advantage of any opportunity to demote his right winger to the minors. Pappin, however, refused to languish in the AHL. He was just too useful, especially during the playoffs of 1967. In the sixth and deciding game of the finals against Montreal, Pappin tossed a backhand pass to Pete Stemkowski. But the puck hit Canadiens' defenseman Terry Harper and slipped into the net. The goal stood as the Stanley Cup winner?the last the Leafs enjoyed.
Pappin toiled for one additional year with the Leafs before Imlach sent him to Chicago. There, "Pappy" settled in as a permanent NHLer. Skating right wing with Pit Martin and Dennis Hull, he scored 216 goals during their seven seasons together.
In 1975, Pappin was traded to the California Golden Seals where he played in 31 contests before the club relocated to Cleveland. He hung in for one final campaign with the Barons and then retired in 1977-78.
Since packing it in, Pappin has worked as Director of U.S. Scouting for the Chicago Blackhawks.