By Rodger M. Wood
The Caps also have a fallen hero. Garnet Edward “Ace” Bailey, who died when United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City during the September 11 attacks, played left wing for the Caps from the 1974-1978.Ace tried calling his wife 4 times unsuccessfully on the Flight 175 from a phone in row 32 when he had been seated at takeoff in row 6.“Ace,” as he was fondly called by the Capital Centre fans, came over to the Caps from the St. Louis Blues 49 games into the Caps’ inaugural 1974-75 season and what turned out to be his best NHL scoring season with 19 goals, 39 assists, 52 points. In 22 games with the Caps that season, he scored 4 goals and 13 assists.The left winger quickly won fans over with his intense, determined style of play on the ice and his gracious, smiling and ready to sign autographs and pose for photos with fans style off. He was a very popular Capitals player right away.A team player, he usually helped his teammates win on or off the ice. As a junior hockey player, he won a Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings in 1966, and later as a NHLer, Stanley Cups with teammates, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and the Boston Bruins in 1970 and 1972.He also got his name on the Stanley Cup in 1985, 1987, and 1990 while a scout with the Edmonton Oilers.During the 1978-79 while a member of the WHA Edmonton Oilers, he mentored young Wayne Gretzky.In 568 games in 10 NHL seasons, he scored 107 goals, and 171 assists.Tragedy, however, followed in his footsteps as his father Irvine Bailey, star forward for Toronto in the 1920s and 1930s, was cross checked from behind, almost killed, and had his career ended by Eddie Shore when he was 30.Ace was Director of Pro Scouting for the Los Angeles Kings living in Lynnfield Massachusetts at the time of his death.