June 16, 1945|
Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)|
Toronto Maple Leafs|
Edmonton Oilers (WHA)
Claire Arthur Alexander or Arthur Claire Alexander (born June 16, 1945) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League and World Hockey Association in the 1970s.
Claire Alexander was one of the game's last great amateur players. After a brief stint in minor-pro hockey in the mid-1960s, he returned home to Ontario and took a job as a milkman, while continuing to star with local senior amateur teams. A skilled defender with a booming shot, Alexander led the Orillia Terriers to the Allan Cup, awarded to Canada's top amateur club, in 1973.
The Toronto Maple Leafs talked Alexander into giving pro hockey another chance, and he joined their Central Hockey League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blazers the following year. He was an immediate hit, as he scored 60 points and was named the league's top rookie and top defender.
In 1974–75, Alexander was called up to the Leafs, making his NHL debut at the age of 29. He finished the season with 7 goals (including a hat-trick) and 17 points in 42 games. He spent most of the next two seasons on the Leafs' roster, posting 21 points in 81 games, and made his most notable contribution in the 1976 playoffs with 6 points in 9 games. Thanks to his former milkman past he was known as Claire "the Milkman" Alexander during his Leafs' days.
For the 1977–78, Alexander was traded to the Vancouver Canucks. He split the season between the Canucks and their farm team in Tulsa, but made a substantial contribution with 26 points in just 32 games in Vancouver. The following season, he moved to the WHA with the Edmonton Oilers, posting 31 points on a team featuring Wayne Gretzky in his first professional season. He then spent two season playing in Germany before retiring in 1981. Following his retirement he served a brief stint as head coach of Toronto's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate in St. Catharines.
Alexander finished his career with 18 goals and 64 points in 155 career NHL games, along with just 36 penalty minutes. He also recorded 8 goals and 31 points in 54 WHA games.
His daughter Buffy-Lynne Williams represented Canada at the Olympics in rowing.
|1967–68||Collingwood Kings||OHA Sr.||40||17||32||49||36||—||—||—||—||—|
|1968–69||Collingwood Kings||OHA Sr.||39||30||32||62||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|1971–72||Orillia Terriers||OHA Sr.||38||13||28||41||42||—||—||—||—||—|
|1972–73||Orillia Terriers||OHA Sr.||41||17||29||46||40||—||—||—||—||—|
|1973–74||Oklahoma City Blazers||CHL||72||23||37||60||34||9||3||4||7||2|
|1974–75||Oklahoma City Blazers||CHL||33||8||17||25||14||—||—||—||—||—|
|1974–75||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||42||7||10||17||12||7||0||0||0||0|
|1975–76||Oklahoma City Blazers||CHL||43||25||31||56||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|1975–76||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||33||2||6||8||6||9||2||4||6||4|
|1976–77||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||48||1||12||13||12||—||—||—||—||—|
|1978–79||Dallas Black Hawks||CHL||7||1||2||3||0||6||1||2||3||4|