Along with the passing of Rick MacLeish on Memorial Day, the hockey world was struck again with tragic news on the passing of long-time Atlanta Flames and Chicago Blackhawks’ forward Tom Lysiak. The news that he lost his battle with leukemia was tweeted out by his daughter, Jessie Lysiak Braun, on Monday afternoon.
Lysiak, a former second overall pick in 1973, played 13 seasons in the NHL between the Flames and Blackhawks. He scored 64 points (19g-45a) during his rookie season with the Flames – finishing second to Denis Potvin in rookie of the year voting.
Over his 13 seasons, he notched 843 points (292g-551a) in 919 regular season games, while adding 25 goals and 63 points in 76 playoff games between the two clubs.
He reached the 30-goal and 80-point plateau three times in his career and took part in three consecutive all-star games from 1975 to 1977.
While was most known for his ability to play the game, Lysiak will also be remembered for one of the longest suspensions handed out by the league (at the time) when he was given 20 games for tripping linesman Ron Foyt during a game in October 1983 against the Whalers.
Lysiak’s passing also immediately affects a current NHL player – Justin Braun. Braun – who is currently playing in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals as a member of the Sharks – is married to Lysiak’s daughter.
According to ESPN.com, Braun “is expected to leave the team temporarily after Game 2 in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to attend his father-in-law’s funeral.
“It’s a tough situation,” said Sharks coach Peter DeBoer to ESPN following the Sharks loss in Game 1. “You feel for him. He went out there, he battled for us under tough circumstances.”
Lysiak will be remembered for all that he gave to the game of hockey and the legacy he left on the former Atlanta Flames franchise.