Minnesota Fighting Saints
# 4, Team CANADA 1974
Club: Minnesota Fighting Saints
Position: C Shoots:
Height: 5-10 Weight: 175
Born: 1/3/1945 in Kirkland Lake, Ontario
Mike "Shakey" Walton was truly one of the most enigmatic characters in the history of professional hockey. He excelled at every level of hockey, on his way to the NHL and was named rookie of the year in both the Central Professional Hockey League and American Hockey League. He joined the Toronto Maple Leafs on a full time basis in 1966-67 helping them win the last
Stanley Cup in that franchises' history. The following year he scored 30 goals and was widely considered to be among the
finest young forwards in the game. His play fell off after that and he developed the reputation of being moody, streaky and
very difficult to coach. He "quit" the Maple Leafs in 1970-71 and demanded a trade. He was sent to the Boston Bruins where he
played fairly well in "spurts" and was a big reason why they won the 1972 Stanley Cup. The talk around the NHL about Walton
was this; Mike was an outstanding skater, with a good shot, and was possibly the finest forward on a break away in the game.
However he was very "streaky." When he "was hot" he was among the finest players in the sport. When he was "cold" or
unmotivated he was worse then bad. And there was "no in-between" with Mike. Either he was on or he was off.
In the summer of 1973 Walton jumped to the WHA Minnesota Fighting Saints. He blossomed in Minnesota scoring 57 goals and adding 60 assists in the 1973-74 season to lead the WHA. When Team Canada 74 was being chosen he was a natural choice. The only concern Billy Harris had was, which Mike Walton would show up? The Walton who had torn the WHA apart in 1973-74 or the moody, indifferent man who had worn out his welcome in Toronto and to a lesser extent Boston?
Unfortunately for Team Canada it was the second Mike Walton who showed up. He appeared uninterested during training camp, played well in Game 1 (picking up an assist) and then "vanished." By the end of Game 5 his play was so bad it appeared he had given up and Harris pulled him out of the lineup. He did return for Game 8. "Shakey" was probably the biggest single disappointment for Team Canada in the Summit.
| Career Statistics
|NHL Reg. Season
|WHA Reg. Season
- Played in the professional hockey leagues: 1966-79
- Pro hockey clubs:
NHL: Toronto, Boston, Vancouver, St. Louis, Chicago; WHA: Minnesota
- WHA awards:
Bill Hunter Trophy (Scoring Leader) 1974
WHA All Star (2nd Team) 1974
PERFORMANCE IN THE 1974 SUMMIT
| Scoring History|
| Penalties History|