Tommy Williams (1923-2006)

Tommy Williams, a three-time Calder Cup champion and five-time AHL All-Star, passed away on Monday due to complications from a stroke, the Cleveland Plain Dealer has reported.

Williams was 83.

Although he never made it to the NHL, Williams was one of the outstanding defensemen of his era, playing 15 seasons in the American Hockey League with the Cleveland Barons (1948-56, 60-64) and the Rochester Americans (1956-59), appearing in 822 career games, good for 24th on the all-time list. He was a member of the Barons’ championship teams in 1951, 1953 and 1954.

He was named a First Team AHL All-Star in 1953 and 1957, and a Second Team AHL All-Star in 1952, 1954 and 1958.

Williams remained in the Cleveland area after his retirement, operating a sporting goods store.

A Saskatchewan native, Williams served in the Canadian Navy during World War II and made his AHL debut with the Barons in 1948.