According to a report from Toronto Maple Leafs reporter James Mirtle of The Athletic, former Leafs enforcer Kurt Walker who had been admitted to intensive care with a sepsis infection last week, has passed away in hospital.
Thoughts with former Leafs tough guy @kurt_walker26 who is in intensive care and battling for his life due to a sepsis infection. Walker has been a big advocate for former players struggling with post-career injuries.
RIP Kurt Walker. Former Leaf passed away last night. Always enjoyed our conversations. He was 64.
Walker played 71 games for the Leafs over three seasons in the mid to late 1970s. He put up four goals and nine points along with 152 penalty minutes in his NHL career. He was one of the toughest players in the old Central Hockey League, as well putting up 184 points in just 59 games with the Oklahoma City Blazers during the 1975-76 season. He was an old school guy who played the game an old school way. He was a non nonsense, take no prisoners kind of player who always did whatever was necessary for him and his teammates without a second thought.
For a reminder of just what the 6 foot, 3 inch, 185 pound winger was capable of, check out this YouTube clip in which Walker takes on Boston Bruins forward Stan Jonathan.
Check it out:
That’s just some good old fashioned hockey right there! We love it!
Walker was profiled by Globe and Mail reporter Sean Gordon last year, where Walker shared the pain he deals with on a daily basis, the result of 17 surgeries over the course of his pro career.
“You’d get back to the bench a little wobbly, the trainer’d hold up some fingers and say, ‘How many do you see?’ It was always two,” the former Toronto Maple Leafs winger chuckled in his interview with Gordon. “Then, he’d say, ‘Good to go,’ and I’d hop over the boards and go fight somebody.” Walker was also one of the notable former NHLers who added his name to a class action lawsuit against the league last season.
Thoughts and prayers go out to Walker and his entire family.