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Obituary: Ecclestone Part of Famous Red Wings Trade

Two-way winger was good for 53 points in 1971-72



Tim Ecclestone
Tim Ecclestone played for the Red Wings from 1971-73.

Tim Ecclestone once sought to explain the difference between playing for the regimented Scotty Bowman in St. Louis, to the atmosphere he found upon arriving in Detroit to play for the Red Wings in 1971.

”I had come from St. Louis, where we had a schedule for everything and it was militaristic,” Ecclestone explained to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2016. “This was different. It was like a country club in Detroit.

“Right before we would take the ice, Gordie (Howe) would be reading his book and Alex (Delvecchio would be) smoking his cigar. Then one time there was a golf match on television and it was time to get on the ice and one of the players said, ‘Let’s watch this last putt.’’’

Ecclestone got to play a lot of golf during his time in Detroit. In his three seasons with the Red Wings, they never qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Ecclestone Enjoyed Big Red Wings Seasons

Ecclestone, who died on the weekend at the age of 76, came to Detroit as part of a blockbuster deal with the Blues in February of 1971. He and Red Berenson were dealt to the Red Wings for Garry Unger and Wayne Connelly.

Known for his defensive work as a solid 200-foot player capable of skating on either wing, Ecclestone would enjoy his most productive offensive seasons in Detroit. He’d net a career-high 19 goals and play in the NHL All-Star Game during the 1970-71 campaign. In both 1971-72 and 1972-73, his two full seasons with the Red Wings, Ecclestone was good for 18 goals each season. His 53 points, accumulated in both 1970-71 and 1971-72, were also career bests.

Early into the 1973-74 season, the Red Wings would trade Ecclestone to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’d also later play for the Atlanta Flames. Breaking into the NHL with the Blues, Ecclestone would skate in three successive Stanley Cup finals in his first three NHL season from 1968-70.