Lou Jankowski

Not many sources reporting it, but former NHLer Lou Jankowski died on Saturday. He was 78.

Jankowski played 130 NHL games with the Red Wings and Blackhawks back in the 1950s. He lived his later years in Florida where he was a regular at Tampa Bay Lightning games.

Lou played only briefly in the NHL, spending just 130 games of his nearly 20-year career. This despite a record breaking junior career with the Oshawa Generals that saw him set league records with 124 points, including 65 goals, in 1950-51.

As a youngster in the early 1950s he was buried in a very deep Detroit Red Wings team, the Stanley Cup champions at the time. He only got into 23 Red Wings games before joining lowly Chicago in 1953.

Jankowski played a season and a half with the Black Hawks before being sent to the minor leagues where he emerged as a star scorer, first with the Buffalo Bisons of the AHL and then with the Calgary Stampeders of the WHL. He would total five consecutive 40 goal campaigns, including a WHL record 57 goals in 1960-61.

Jankowski, a versatile forward who played center and right wing, was named league MVP that season and seemed set in Calgary. Then he shocked everyone by announcing he was leaving the game and going back to his farm in Simcoe, Ontario. The Stamps convinced him to come back by training camp though. He would play until 1969, also playing with the Victoria Maple Leafs, Phoenix Roadrunners and Denver Spurs.

He would serve as a long time scout for the NHL Central Scouting, the St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals and New York Rangers before retiring in 1993. He spent his golden years split between Calgary and Florida.


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