Gil Mayer, one of the top goaltenders in American Hockey League history, passed away on Sept. 29 at the age of 86.
Nicknamed "The Needle" because of his small stature, Mayer made up for his lack of size with quickness and agility, and was credited with winning 346 games over 14 seasons with the Pittsburgh Hornets, Hershey Bears, Cleveland Barons and Providence Reds. His 41 career shutouts trail only Johnny Bower on the all-time list.
Mayer earned three First Team AHL All-Star nods along with two Second Team selections, and he won the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award — at the time presented to the goalie with the fewest goals against — five times in a six-year span beginning in 1950-51. He won Calder Cups with Pittsburgh in 1952 and 1955, and was a member of Hershey’s championship teams in 1958 and 1959.
Mayer was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2007.