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Friday, July 1, 2022
Letter: Bob Nevin, number 11

Dear editor:

Another great Leaf has passed on, and I hope the real fans remember him. 

Bob Nevin always conducted himself with such class and modesty.  Back in 2013, my pal Eric Skillins and I drove Bob and Dick Duff up to Fenelon Falls for the funeral of Allan Stanley. 

Two Leaf legends, one who has a photographic memory for road maps and the other one a master of numbers.

Four guys on a road trip, with eight Stanley Cups among us.  Bob had two and Dick had six (including four with Les Canadiens.) 

Eric and I had zero each. Bob loved a good road trip, sitting in the back seat, glibly adding a story here and a quip there. A true good guy and totally unpretentious. A dry sense of humour and perfect timing.

When he was playing junior hockey, his dad told him, “You are good enough to make the NHL. Work hard, and always wear number 11.  You'll be easy to remember, Bobby Nevin, number 11.”

On our way home from Allan' Stanley's funeral, Bob offered this story.  “I was always good with numbers. After our Stanley Cup win in 1963, my wife and I used my bonus money to buy a nice little house in Leaside.  In those days, Bell Canada assigned you a number. They gave us 416-632-7310.”  

I said, “That's interesting.”  Bob waited a moment, and said, “Add 'em up, boys.”  The penny dropped. Dick said, “11, 11, 11.  That's amazing. How'd you figure that out, Bobby?”

“Hey, I had a lot of time to sit around and think. Played hockey a couple of hours a day and had lots of free time. I was good with numbers.”

Bobby Nevin, number 11. A great hockey player, a great man and a great friend.  

Rest in peace, Bob. Thanks for the thrills and the friendship.

Ross Robinson