Sad weekend in Detroit… First the death of Lulu, Ernie Harwell’s wife who died Friday at the age of 99; then this morning the word that Red Wing Legend - and all around great guy Ted Lindsay passed away overnight at the age of 93. Ted’s passing is a loss for Detroit - and personal for me as well.
I was not only a huge fan of #7 - “Terrible Ted”… but knew him well in “real life” as they say. I can’t tell you what an honor it was when Teddy played on my “Purtan No Stars” Charity Hockey team in the ‘70s. If you’re a hockey fan, you can imagine the rush and pride I felt all padded-up (I was the goalie) sharing the ice with the 4 time Stanley Cup winner and 9 time NHL All-Star Left Wing, along with Gordie Howe, Alec Delvecchio and many other former Red Wings after they’d retired from the NHL.
I’ll never forget being in the locker room during one of our games when Ted walked up to me. “Hey Dick,” he said. “You gotta concentrate. You’re lettin’ some shots in that shouldn’t be getting by”. As he turned and walked away I yelled, “Hey Ted”. He looked back at me and I added, “F—- You!”
The guys in the locker room erupted in laughter… with no one laughing louder than Ted.
You must understand that people didn’t talk to him like that because of his Tough Guy Persona - an image earned alongside Gordie and Sid Abel as part of “The Production Line” - the greatest Red Wing Offensive Line of all time. But underneath that facade was a man with a heart of gold.
Case in point: Ted donated and raised millions for research into, and the treatment of kids with Autism. And not a year went by that Ted didn’t contribute and appear on my Salvation Army Radiothon broadcasts.
In short, Ted was a Hero both on and off the ice.
I am so grateful for our friendship and like to think that he is up in Heaven with Gordie and Sid, Ernie and Lulu.
My thoughts and prayers are with both the Lindsay and Harwell families.