Ted Lindsay’s legend grows even larger with $1 million gift to autism program

Ted Lindsay’s charitable foundation donated $1 million on Wednesday to help support and grow an autism program near Detroit. It’s the latest in a line of altruistic gestures the hockey legend has made over the years.

‘Terrible’ Ted Lindsay might be one of the great misnomers in hockey history.

The Detroit Red Wings’ legend, who is known as much for his work in helping to create a an NHL players association as he is his Hall-of-Fame playing career, is also a major crusader in the fight to find a cure for autism.

Lindsay, 88, established a foundation in 2001 to fund research for the cause and holds a charity golf tournament in the Detroit area each summer to benefit it.  In 2007, his foundation donated $100,000 to the Thoughtful House Center for Children and 2012 it donated $64,000 to purchase tablets and notebooks for the Hands-On Parents Education Center in Royal Oak., Mich.

On Wednesday, Lindsay’s foundation pledged its largest gift, giving $1 million to the HOPE facility, which, in recognition of the donation, has been renamed “The Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center.”

Here’s a promo video from Lindsay’s 2013 golf event.

Autism is a brain development disorder that currently affects one in 68 children and one in 42 boys. Symptoms are wide-ranging and can include impaired behavioral and social skills, as well as various physical health issues.

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A native of Renfrew, Ont., Lindsay spent 13 years in Detroit before his controversial work in forming a players association prompted the beginning of the end in Motown. Management stripped him of his captaincy and traded him to Chicago, where he retired in 1960. Four years later, he was enticed by former linemate Sid Abel to make a comeback and play one final season in Detroit.

Lindsay was honored in 2010 for his pioneering work in protecting players rights when the NHL Players’ Association named its top player award (previously knows as the Lester B. Pearson) after him. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1966, Lindsay was No. 21 on The Hockey News’ list of the Top 100 Players of All-Time.