Stories Behind Maple Leafs Coach Mike Nykoluk’s Cause of Death
Sad fans are asking about the former NHL’s Maple Leafs Mike Nykoluk’s cause of death since the star passed away unfortunately on Monday (January 31, 2022) at the age of 87. May the legend sleep in peace.
The heartbreaking news of beloved Mike, who captained the Toronto Marlboros to a Memorial Cup title and became the coach of NHL’s Maple Leafs for three and a half seasons, was confirmed by The Maple Leafs in a statement.
The statement read, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mike Nykoluk. Mike captained the 55 Memorial Cup-winning Marlies before going on to play 32 games for the Maple Leafs. He later served as the Maple Leafs head coach for 4 seasons, from 1981-84. Our thoughts are with his family.”
Nykoluk led a Marlboros roster that included Bobby Baun, Al MacNeil, and Bob Pulford to a 4-1 win over the Regina Pats in the best-of-seven 1955 Memorial Cup final. He starred in 32 games for the Maple Leafs in 1956-57, scoring three goals and adding an assist.
He was assigned to the Rochester Americans throughout that season. While he wouldn’t play another NHL game, he had an outstanding AHL career, primarily with the Hershey Bears.
Gord Stellick said, “I have been fortunate to meet many nice people so far in my life. I have never met a nicer person than Mike Nykoluk. Always greeted you with a smile and a cigar! Nice Guys Do Finish First!!”
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Our thoughts and prayers are with the legend’s family, friends, fans, and all of his loved ones on these challenging days. You can also leave a condolence message below the comment box to honor him; Fans widely ask, “what happened to him?” So if you have any related information about his passing, please share it with us.
Did an Illness Become Mike Nykoluk’s Cause of Death?
Although there is no detailed report about Mike Nykoluk’s cause of death at this time, some unofficial sources claim that he possibly lost his life due to an illness he was recently suffering from.
Nevertheless, our team in U.S. day News does not confirm any rumors; we are trying our best to find related information about the tragedy and provide the latest updates as soon as possible; family privacy should be respected news is a difficult time.
Mike remains Hershey’s all-time leader in games played (972), assists (636), and points (808) and helped the team to Calder Cup titles in 1959 and 1969. He was awarded the Les Cunningham Award as AHL MVP in 1967 and his number 8 is retired by the club.
Hershey shared in a statement that Nykoluk, well known as “The Big Bear,” would be honoured before the Bears’ game Wednesday ( February 2, 2022) against Hartford.
Nykoluk entered the Philadelphia Flyers as an assistant coach to Fred Shero and had a key role in the team’s winning Stanley Cup titles in 1974 and 1975.
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He took over from the fired Joe Crozier behind the Maple Leafs’ bench halfway through the 1980-81 season. The Leafs went 15-15-10 under Nykoluk the remainder of the season before being swept by the eventual Stanley Cup champion New York Islanders in the opening round of the playoffs.
Toronto missed the playoffs the following season, then came back in 1982-83 before losing 3-1 to the Minnesota North Stars in the Norris Division semifinals. Nykoluk was fired after the 1983-84 season after Toronto went 26-45-9 and missed the playoffs. The Maple Leafs went 89-144-47 in his three-and-a-half seasons behind the bench.
Bleak Fans Shared Tributes for Mike Nykoluk
Celebrities’ death news always break many hearts; however, fans remember memories, and their idols are alive in their mind even after death.
Here we collected some of Mike Nykoluk’s friends, fans, and loved ones’ reactions to the news, including the heart-touching tributes they posted on social media.
Someone shared, “We are saddened to learn of the passing of Mike Nykoluk, the NHL’s first full-time assistant coach and Fred Shero’s right-hand man during our Cup winning seasons.”
Philadelphia Flyers said, “The Philadelphia Flyers are saddened to hear of the passing of Mike Nykoluk. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike’s family during this difficult time,” while another added, “R.I.P. coach and thank you for all you have contributed to our teams that won the Stanley Cup twice,” and other one said, “RIP to the great nemesis of my Baltimore Clippers. Had some real melees inside the chicken wire at the Civic Center, when Hershey came to town. Mike was right at the center of those Donnybrooks. His distinctive last surname was the focus of our hate, & that hate was our tribute.”
NHL wrote, “Mike Nykoluk, the first full-time NHL assistant, died Monday at age 87. He was hired by the Flyers as an assistant to Fred Shero in 1972 and helped guide them to the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 1975.”
Someone replied his former team’s statement, saying, “Mike Nykoluk, the best player in Hershey Bears history, has passed away at 87. He played 14 seasons in Hershey, was an assistant coach on two Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup teams, and was head coach in Toronto.”
A fan stated, “RIP to former Philadelphia Flyers Assistant Coach and Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach, Mike Nykoluk. Nykoluk also played 32 games for the Leafs and spent 14 seasons with the Hershey Bears of the AHL and is in the AHL Hall of Fame. Rest in Peace.”
Someone also announced, “Damn! I remember Mike and always wondered what became of him (I’d sometimes Google him in moments of procrastination but could never find anything recent). Someone once said he resembled Fred Flinstone. I can kind of see that. RIP. Sorry, you had to put up with Ballard.”
And a Twitter user tweeted, “Sad to hear. I may have mentioned once that we shook his hand after his last game coaching the Leafs, the last game of the season at the Aud. My friend just walked up to him, he was gracious and accommodating to regular Joes like us.”