by The Nelson Daily Sports on Friday January 13 2023
The local hockey scene is mourning the loss of former Nelson Maple Leafs winger Buck Crawford, who died suddenly last week in the Heritage City.
Crawford arrived in Nelson in the mid-60s to play for the Senior Maple Leafs in the Western International Hockey League after playing minor hockey in Powell River and Junior Hockey in Kamloops.
Crawford, 80, joined the Maple Leafs in 1964, toiling for 12 seasons for the Buds playing on the high-scoring forward line with center Leroy Mowery and left-winger Brian Russell.
Crawford is one of three Nelson Maple Leafs to play on three Savage Cup team — emblematic of WIHL supremacy.
The WIHL was a local senior hockey league with teams in Nelson, Trail, Rossland, Kimberley, Cranbrook, Fernie and Spokane, Washington.
Crawford also played for Kimberley Dynamiters for the 1966 Allan Cup Finals during his senior hockey career.
The Allan Cup is awarded annually to the senior hockey champions of Canada.
Following his WIHL career, Crawford continued to play hockey for many more seasons with the Nelson Oldtimers as well as Sunday morning hockey league.
Crawford played in the annual Nelson Mid-Summer Classic against many professional players who were invited to play against the Maple Leafs.
He coached at various divisions in Nelson minor hockey and the Nelson Leafs of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League in 1971-72.
A funeral service will be held for Crawford on Tuesday, January 17 at the at the Cathedral of Mary Immaculate at 11 a.m.