The tragic events of September 11, 2001 that shocked the world 20 years ago today impacted upon every walk of life, including the hockey world. Los Angeles Kings scouts Mark Bavis and Garnet “Ace” Bailey were among the passengers killed on United Airlines Flight 175. The plane they were on crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. They were flying from Boston to Los Angeles for the opening of the Kings’ training camp that day.
Bailey was a former NHL player. He might best be remembered as a Stanley Cup winner with the Boston Bruins in 1969-70 and 1971-72. Left-winger Bailey also won a Memorial Cup with the 1965-66 Edmonton Oil Kings. He was with the Washington Capitals during their inaugural NHL campaign in 1974-75. Bailey finished his big-league career playing 38 games for the WHA’s Edmonton Oilers in 1978-79.
Bailey played his first major-league pro game on the same team with Bobby Orr. He played played last major-league pro game on the same team with Wayne Gretzky.
Stint With Red Wings
As well, Bailey spent parts of two seasons skating for the Detroit Red Wings during his 568-game NHL career.
The Wings acquired Bailey from the Bruins on March 1, 1973 for Gary Doak and Murray Wing. He played 58 games for Detroit, producing 11-25-37 totals. On February 14, 1974, Bailey’s Detroit tenure came to an end. He spent Valentine’s Day moving to St. Louis. The Red Wings traded Bailey to the Blues with Ted Harris and Bill Collins for Bryan Watson, Chris Evans and Jean Hamel.
Those who knew him in the hockey world remember Bailey as a larger than life figure. He was the life of the party and he always was leaving everyone laughing.
“He was a popular guy,” Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland remembered. “You always knew when Ace was in the room. He had a real presence and a great sense of humor.”