Former Toronto Maple Leaf | Mental Health Advocate
Celebrated hockey legend Ron Ellis is dedicated to increasing awareness of mental health issues. After retiring from his 15-year career as a Toronto Maple Leaf, Ellis―one of the most respected individuals to ever wear the “blue and white”―struggled to adapt to life post-hockey and thus began his battle with depression. Now the director of public affairs for the Hockey Hall of Fame, Ellis speaks with insight, humour, and compassion about his personal struggle to regain his mental health and the need for society to overcome the stigma that all-too-often surrounds issues like depression.
While a player for the Maple Leafs, Ellis totalled 350 regular season and playoff goals, and was a key member of the team’s 1966-67 Stanley Cup winning squad. He further distinguished himself on the international stage with Team Canada at the 1972 Summit Series, where he participated in all eight games. After scoring 32 goals for the Leafs in the 1974-75 season, Ellis retired to pursue other interests.
After a brief return to professional hockey, Ellis returned to retirement and, in 1986, began fighting his battle with depression. His dedication to mental health care and awareness has led him to work closely with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Ellis went public with his story as the co-writer of his biography, Over the Boards: The Ron Ellis Story. Ellis is the founder of the Ron Ellis Team Canada Foundation, a charity that supports various organizations.