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Pearson award renamed in Lindsay's honour

Ted Lindsay poses with his Lester Patrick Award October 22, 2008 at the St. Paul Hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images

The man they called Terrible Ted is getting a trophy named after him, and it's about time.

Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay, whose reputation and nickname were born of countless fights, both on and off the ice, is about to be acknowledged by the association he helped inspire more than 50 years ago.

The NHL Players' Association has chosen to rename the Lester B. Pearson Award in Lindsay's honour. The Pearson has been given annually to the NHL's top player as voted on by his peers. The award was named after the former prime minister who used to coach the University of Toronto hockey team. Its first recipient was Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins in 1970-71.

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Lindsay, now 84, helped organize the NHLPA in the late 1950s when he and a handful of others pushed the owners for a better pension plan and minimum salaries for first-year players. Known for his tenacity and loathed by many, Lindsay immediately fell into disfavour with Detroit Red Wings' general manager Jacks Adams, who traded him to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The owners were able to thwart Lindsay's association bid until 1967 when Alan Eagleson led the charge and was named the NHLPA's first executive director.

Lindsay played 13 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and was a league all-star eight times. He played alongside Sid Abel and Gordie Howe on Detroit's fabled Production Line and won the Stanley Cup four times. He later became the Red Wings' GM.

In 1966, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, where the NHLPA will officially unveil the Lindsay Award on Thursday.

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