Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Tod Sloan
Hockey history has lionized Bill Barilko’s Stanley Cup-winning overtime goal against the Montreal Canadiens in 1951. Yet, had Tod Sloan not scored his second goal of the game with 32 seconds remaining in the third period to tie the score, the history likely would have been written much differently. In fact, Sloan hit the post against the Canadiens just before the buzzer that concluded regulation time in that same game, which would have dramatically altered the historic storyline.

Aloysius Martin Sloan, better known to the hockey world by the name Tod (and occasionally, ‘Slinker’), was born on November 30, 1927 in Pontiac, Quebec while his mother was visiting relatives, but was raised in Falconbridge, Ontario.

After starring in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey Association (NOJHA), the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Sloan and sent him to St. Michael’s College in Toronto where he could continue his education while playing with the Maple Leaf-affiliated junior squad, the St. Michael’s Majors. In his first season, 1944-45, he tied for second in goals scored for the Majors, with 21 tallies in 19 games. That spring, Sloan helped the Majors to the Memorial Cup title.

By the following season, Tod led the Ontario Hockey Association in scoring, winning the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy with 75 points, including 43 goals. The Majors again went to the Memorial Cup, but this time, were beaten by the Winnipeg Monarchs.

The Maple Leafs signed Tod to a professional contract on April 30, 1946, and he was assigned to Toronto’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Pittsburgh Hornets, where he was readied for NHL play during two seasons. During that time, Tod was elevated to the parent Maple Leafs for a single game – December 25, 1947.

After starting the season with the Hornets in 1948-49, Sloan was summoned to the Maple Leafs on December 26, 1948 after winger Howie Meeker was injured. He finished the season with Toronto, but did not dress for the playoffs as the Maple Leafs went on to win their third consecutive Stanley Cup championship. He was traded to the AHL Cleveland Barons prior to the 1949-50 season, and finished with 37 goals; third-best in the league that season. The Barons proceeded to the Calder Cup final but were beaten by the Indianapolis Capitals, despite Tod’s playoff-leading production.

Toronto wisely purchased Sloan back from Cleveland, and by 1950-51, he was a fulltime Maple Leaf, wearing the number 15 with Toronto, who were in the midst of having won three Stanley Cup championships in four seasons. He contributed immediately, finishing eighth in NHL scoring during his rookie season with 56 points. His 31 goals were third-best in the league. Toronto won the Stanley Cup against Montreal on Bill Barilko’s overtime goal in Game 5. Tod led the Leafs in playoff scoring that spring.

Sloan played parts of ten seasons with the Maple Leafs, leading the team with 43 points in 1953-54 and a career-best 66 points in 1955-56, including a career-high 37 goals; fifth-best in the NHL. He was selected for the league’s Second All-Star Team and was awarded the Maple Leafs’ J.P. Bickell Memorial Award for his contributions to the franchise.

The league was evolving, and in the late-1950s, Ted Lindsay of the Detroit Red Wings quietly organized a players’ association, including opinion leaders from each of the six NHL teams. Jimmy Thomson and Tod Sloan were chosen to represent Toronto. Team owner Conn Smythe was incensed by the idea of a players’ association, and even moreso by the idea that any of his players would be involved. In August 1957, Thomson was sold to the Chicago Black Hawks. The following summer Sloan was sold to Chicago too. He would go on to finish eighth in NHL scoring with 62 points, which included 27 goals.

By 1960-61, Chicago had assembled a powerhouse roster, with Glenn Hall in goal, Pierre Pilote on defence and forwards that included Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. Sloan played his role that season as the Black Hawks went on to win the Stanley Cup. It was the third season in which Tod was a member of a Stanley Cup-winning team. Curiously, he was not included on the Stanley Cup in 1949, he had his name engraved on the Cup as ‘Tod Sloan’ in 1951 and was included on the 1961 Stanley Cup engraving as ‘Martin A. Sloan.’

Following the season, Sloan worked to get his amateur status reinstated, and once that was completed, he joined the Galt Terriers, who represented Canada at the 1962 IIHF World Championships in Colorado. Tod scored six times and collected 10 points in the six-game tournament to help Canada collect the silver medal.

Through 745 NHL games, Tod Sloan scored 220 goals and added 262 assists for 482 points. He also had 9 goals and 12 assists for 21 points in 47 playoff games.

During the 2017-18 NHL season, the Toronto Maple Leafs named its 100 greatest players while celebrating their centennial season. Tod Sloan was number 38 on the list. Number one overall was Dave Keon, Sloan’s cousin. Tod was the son of Keon’s mother’s brother. “I admired him growing up,” stated Keon, who was 13 years younger.

Sloan lived his final years in Sutton, Ontario, and died July 12, 2017 at the age of 89.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1943-44 Copper Cliff Reps NOJHA
1944-45 St. Michael's Majors OHA-Jr. 19 21 16 37 14 9 10 10 20 0
1944-45 St. Michael's Majors M-Cup 14 17 4 21 32
1945-46 St. Michael's Majors OHA-Jr. 25 43 32 75 49 11 16 6 22 16
1946-47 Pittsburgh Hornets AHL 64 15 24 39 31 12 2 2 4 0
1947-48 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1947-48 Pittsburgh Hornets AHL 61 20 24 44 18 2 1 0 1 2
1948-49 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 29 3 4 7 0
1948-49 Pittsburgh Hornets AHL 35 18 16 34 23
1949-50 Cleveland Barons AHL 62 37 29 66 28 9 10 4 14 7
1950-51 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 31 25 56 105 11 4 5 9 18
1951-52 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 68 25 23 48 89 4 0 0 0 10
1952-53 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 15 10 25 76
1953-54 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 67 11 32 43 100 5 1 1 2 4
1954-55 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 63 13 15 28 89 4 0 0 0 2
1955-56 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 37 29 66 100 2 0 0 0 5
1956-57 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 52 14 21 35 33
1957-58 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 59 13 25 38 58
1958-59 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 59 27 35 62 79 6 3 5 8 0
1959-60 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 20 20 40 54 3 0 0 0 0
1960-61 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 67 11 23 34 48 12 1 1 2 8
1961-62 Galt Terriers OHA-Sr. 9 11 4 15 8
1961-62 Canada WEC-A 6 6 4 10 4
NHL Totals 745 220 262 482 831 47 9 12 21 47


OHA-Jr. MVP (1946)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1956) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1951, 1952, 1956)
Signed as a free agent by Toronto, April 30, 1946. Loaned to Cleveland (AHL) by Toronto for the 1949-50 season with the trade of Ray Ceresino and Harry Taylor for Bob Solinger, September 6, 1949. Traded to Chicago by Toronto for cash, June 6, 1958.
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