Fred Stanfield came from a bustling family with five brothers who played pro hockey. A product of Toronto's youth program, he played three seasons of junior hockey with the St. Catharines Teepees. His high level of scoring and playmaking caught the attention of the Chicago Blackhawks management who brought him to the NHL in 1964.
Stanfield toiled for the Hawks and the St. Louis Braves of the CHL in true journeyman fashion until he was swept into the current of one of the NHL's more infamous trades. The Boston Bruins acquired his services along with Phil Esposito and Ken Hodge in exchange for Gilles Marotte, Pit Martin, and Jack Norris.
In Boston, Stanfield joined Johnny McKenzie and Johnny Bucyk to form what is often considered to have been the best second line in hockey from 1967 to 1972. Known as "Steady Freddie." Stanfield had a reputation as a player who showed up to play every night. His hard work, fine skating and face-off prowess endeared him to the Bruin fans and made an important contribution to the team's two Stanley Cup victories in 1970 and 1972.
In the ten season after his arrival in Boston, Stanfield broke the 20-goal plateau seven times. In 1973, he was dealt to the Minnesota North Stars for a season and a half before rounding out his NHL days with the Buffalo Sabres in 1977.
Stanfield then played one final season as a player/coach with the Hershey Bears of the AHL before retiring to coach the Niagara Falls Flyers of the OHL.