Hartley McLeod, who played for the Komets from 1954 to 1958, died Monday at the age of 81, his son said.
McLeod, who went on to be a linesman in the old International Hockey League for 10 years, founded the upscale restaurant Hartley's, 4301 Fairfield, Ave., in 1983.
He was at the Covington Manner Health and Rehabilitation Center, said his son, Hartley McLeod Jr., and died of natural causes following a battle with Alzheimer's and dementia.
"Oh, (hockey) was very important to him," said McLeod Jr. "He was born and raised in Selkirk, Manitoba, and he left when he was 15 years old to go play junior (hockey) in Western Canada. That was his life until (he stopped refereeing). All his best friends were hockey players. Gordie Howe was one of his closest friends."
A left wing, McLeod's best season came in 1955-56, when he tallied 28 goals and 66 points in 60 games.
McLeod's death came two days after 32-year-old former Komets defenseman Rob Guinn died in a car accident in Greene County, Iowa, when another driver, 65-year-old Jon Anderson, ran a stop sign and collided with him, according to the Des Moines Register.
Guinn is survived by a 5-month-old daughter, Olivia, and wife Brooke.
Brooke sent this e-mail to The Journal Gazette:
"If there's one thing I can say about Rob, it is that he loved Olivia and me with all his heart. He was such a wonderful father and husband, taking care of Olivia during the day while I was at work. No matter where we went Rob was carrying her, playing with her and most of all loving her. I have no doubt in my mind that she and I were his last thought. I will miss him more than words can say and am so thankful for the outreach of support I have gotten from all of the organizations Rob has played with, fans, and former teammates. It is such a blessing to know he was loved so much. He lives on through Olivia and me."
Brooke said a trust fund will be set up for Olivia, with details to follow.
Guinn was best known for his toughness -- despite several injuries, he didn't miss any games in two seasons with the Komets from 2004 to 2006 -- and for setting up Jonathan Goodwin's goal in overtime of Game 7 of the 2005 United Hockey League semifinals. That completed a comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.
McLeod is survived by wife Wanda, daughter Pamela Downs, son John Getts and McLeod Jr., who also went on to referee professionally.
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette