Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Ed Westfall
To a younger generation of hockey fans, Ed Westfall is likely better known for his hockey broadcasting history, mainly with the New York Islanders. But for those who remember hockey in the 1960s and 1970s, Ed Westfall was a successful NHL forward, playing 18 years in the big league.

Westfall's professional career began in 1961 when he suited up for 63 games with the Boston Bruins. He was known as a defensive specialist and the Bruins were not disappointed with what they had. Westfall scored just twice while assisting on nine others in his first year. Westfall's first notable offensive season came in 1964-65, when he managed 12 goals and 15 assists in 65 games. His mandate was to keep the opposition away from Bruins' goaltenders Eddie Johnston and Gerry Cheevers, and he performed that function admirably.

The 1969-70 season was a breakthrough year for the Bruins, who won the Stanley Cup on Bobby Orr's championship-winning goal in overtime of game 4 against the St. Louis Blues. Westfall played in all 14 playoff games, scoring three goals and adding five assists.

The following year the Bruins were an offensive powerhouse, and even defensive specialists like Westfall benefited from playing with the likes of Orr, Esposito, Hodge, and Bucyk. Westfall netted a career-high 25 goals and 34 assists for 59 points. The Bruins seemed like a lock to take their second consecutive Cup. However, a rookie goaltender out of Cornell University had other ideas. A 23-year-old named Ken Dryden, a 6'4" 215-pounder from Hamilton, turned in one of the greatest goaltending performances in NHL playoff history, shutting down the Big Bad Bruins in the semi-finals. From there Montreal went on to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks to win the Cup.

As hard as that playoff loss was for the Bruins, they came back tougher than ever the following year, eager to prove that they were still the best team in the NHL. Once again they dominated the regular season and went on to win their second Stanley Cup in three years, knocking off the New York Rangers in six games. In 15 playoff games, Westfall collected four goals and three assists.

The last seven years of Eddie's NHL career were spent on Long Island with the Islanders. The club wanted his experience to help the younger kids learn the ropes. And, with all expansion teams, there were growing pains. The club failed to make the playoffs during Westfall's first two years there. However, with young stars like Denis Potvin and Clark Gillies, there was a solid foundation for the future and 1974-75 saw the club advance to the post-season for the first time in its short history.

Westfall retired from the NHL after the 1978-79 season at the age of 38. His in-depth knowledge of the game, combined with a friendly, outgoing demeanour, made him a perfect fit to become a television hockey commentator, which he has done for over 20 years.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1957-58 Barrie Flyers OHA-Jr. 51 3 10 13 60 4 0 0 0 4
1958-59 Barrie Flyers OHA-Jr. 54 4 10 14 63 6 0 4 4 2
1959-60 Barrie Flyers OHA-Jr. 48 7 28 35 63 6 0 4 4 28
1959-60 Kingston Frontenacs EPHL 1 0 0 0 2
1960-61 Niagara Falls Flyers OHA-Jr. 48 9 45 54 72 7 2 7 9 6
1960-61 Kingston Frontenacs EPHL 2 0 0 0 0
1961-62 Boston Bruins NHL 63 2 9 11 53
1962-63 Boston Bruins NHL 48 1 11 12 34
1962-63 Kingston Frontenacs EPHL 21 5 16 21 14
1963-64 Boston Bruins NHL 55 1 5 6 35
1963-64 Providence Reds AHL 13 1 3 4 8 3 0 0 0 4
1964-65 Boston Bruins NHL 68 12 15 27 65
1965-66 Boston Bruins NHL 59 9 21 30 42
1966-67 Boston Bruins NHL 70 12 24 36 26
1967-68 Boston Bruins NHL 73 14 22 36 38 +5 4 2 0 2 2
1968-69 Boston Bruins NHL 70 18 24 42 22 +20 10 3 7 10 11
1969-70 Boston Bruins NHL 72 14 22 36 28 +20 14 3 5 8 4
1970-71 Boston Bruins NHL 78 25 34 59 48 +58 7 1 2 3 2
1971-72 Boston Bruins NHL 77 18 26 44 19 +29 15 4 3 7 10
1972-73 New York Islanders NHL 67 15 31 46 25 -42
1973-74 New York Islanders NHL 68 19 23 42 28 -5
1974-75 New York Islanders NHL 73 22 33 55 28 +19 17 5 10 15 12
1975-76 New York Islanders NHL 80 25 31 56 27 +17 8 2 3 5 0
1976-77 New York Islanders NHL 79 14 33 47 8 +21 12 1 5 6 0
1977-78 New York Islanders NHL 71 5 19 24 14 +7 2 0 0 0 0
1978-79 New York Islanders NHL 55 5 11 16 4 0 6 1 2 3 0
NHL Totals 1226 231 394 625 544 95 22 37 59 41


OHA-Jr. First All-Star Team (1961)
Bill Masterton Trophy (1977) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1971, 1973, 1974, 1975)
Claimed by NY Islanders from Boston in Expansion Draft, June 6, 1972.