Saturday

Roy Conacher

The 1998 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies included Roy Conacher, who maybe now will finally get some recognition as a great player in his own right.

Despite his own athletic achievements, Roy Conacher has always been best known as the younger brother of fellow Hockey Hall of Famers Charlie and Lionel. Charlie was probably the best hockey player while Lionel was named Canada's male athlete of the half century in 1950 as he also starred in the Canadian Football League, minor league baseball, lacrosse, boxing and wrestling.

Roy Conacher entered the NHL in 1938-39 and immediately made an impact. As a rookie he led the entire NHL in goals with 26 and also helped his Boston Bruins capture the Stanley Cup. Conacher would help to duplicate the Beantown Cup Championship again in 1941 but then saw his career put on hold due to World War II.

Conacher enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was stationed in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and later Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for a total of 3 years. He played a total of 27 senior games as an amateur in that time, scoring 23 goals in a fairly competitive league which featured other pro-hockey players who were also stationed in the area for military service.

Following the end of the war Conacher returned to Boston but only played in 4 games in 1945-46. The following season he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings where he scored a career high 30 goals and 54 points. However a contract dispute saw Roy on his way out again, this time to the Chicago Blackhawks (he was initially traded to the New York Americans but refused to go to the Big Apple).

Conacher enjoyed 4 fine seasons with the Hawks, none finer than the 1948-49 campaign when he won the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer. Though he was teamed with Doug Bentley and Bill Mosienko, the Hawks failed to make the playoffs yet again. During his entire tenure with the Hawks, the team was the cellar dwellars of the league.

Roy Conacher comes from one of Canada's top athletic families. Roy's nephews Peter and Brian also saw time in the NHL. Though he is not as famous as brothers Charlie and Lionel, he, too, is one of hockey's all time greats.

Conacher retired in 1951 with 226 career goals, one more than big brother Charlie.

1 comments:

Derek 7:39 PM  

Roy may have been given the Conn Smythe had it been awarded in 1939 when Boston eliminated Conn Smythe's Leafs.

Sure he was on a line with Bill Cowley but Conacher shone on his own when the Bruins needed him most. He was a Toronto boy and when the series was tied 1-1 going into Toronto the Bruins were deflated and the Leafs were high.

Game 3 Boston 3 - Toronto 1
Conacher scores what proves to be winning goal, assisted by Cowley. Conacher and Cowley assist on Crawford's goal.

Conacher 1-1 - Boston up 2 games 1.

“It was my first goal on the Toronto ice this winter and it was a bit of a fluke at that, I hope I have broken this Toronto jinx,” said young Conacher, who led the National league in goals scored in his rookie year with 26 markers. “But it sure came at the right time, and the way things turned out it was the one that beat the Leafs.”

Game 4 - Boston 2 - Toronto 0
Conacher scores both goals.

Home-towner spanks Toronto Maple Leafs.
3-1 Conacher. 4 consecutive goals included Conacher - Taking Boston from a 1-1 tie in a tight game 3 to a 3 games to 1 series lead and heading back to Boston. Hill assisted on the first goal while Cowley and Hill assisted on the second.

Game 5 - 3-1 Boston

1. Conacher and Cowley assist on Hill's goal

2. Cowley assists on Conacher's goal.

Conacher was rewarded with a point in six straight markers that sent Boston from a dog fight in game 3 of the 1939 final to the franchise's 2nd Stanley Cup.

Of Course if it were not for Hill's heroics vs the Rangers we would not have seen Conacher's heroics. The Hill-Conacher-Cowley line exploded in this playoff. They were the difference makers.

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