Thursday

Charlie Conacher

Charlie Conacher was the Bobby Hull of hockey before Bobby Hull ever came along.

Conacher was big and strong, with a shot that was feared by goaltenders everywhere in the NHL. In fact, once after being hit in the rump by an errant Conacher shot, King Clancy quipped "It felt like somebody had turned a blow torch on me. I couldn't sit down for a week."

Clancy had a certain fondness for "The Big Bomber."

"I never had a finer friend in Toronto than Charlie," said Clancy, who was friends with everyone including the ushers. "He was my protection as a Maple Leaf. I wasn't too big and not too good with my mitts, although I tried to win many a battle. If you got a punch in the chin, you either went down or stood up, shook your head and took it. but Conacher was Toronto's policeman for many years and a great one. He didn't go looking for trouble, but if it came along he would clear it up."

A member of a famous athletic family, he played 12 seasons in the league. While brother Lionel gets to most acclaim as the best athlete, it was Charlie who gets the nod as the best hockey player. The five time All Star and two time Art Ross winner is considered one of the greatest right wingers of any era. He was a member of the famous Kid Line with Busher Jackson and Joe Primeau

Conacher's hands were useful for more than just fighting. The sharpshooter who fired bullets from his stick scored 225 goals, and led the league in goals scored five times in a span of 6 years. Conacher played nine seasons with Toronto.

Injuries caught up with the rugged forward towards the end of the 1930s, so the Leafs traded him to Detroit, where he played one season. Conacher finished his career with the New York Americans for one season after that.

Conacher retired in 1941 to coach junior hockey, and in 1947 became coach of the Chicago Black Hawks, but turned to hotel management in the 1950s. Conacher had 225 goals and 173 assists in 460 regular season games, with 17 goals and 18 assists in 49 playoff games.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1961, Conacher died 6 years later from cancer

2 comments:

xrayspecs21 10:10 PM  

I nominate Mr. Conacher for promotion to the "Maple Leafs Legends" level. A Second Team-All Star in 31-32 and 32-33; and then a First Team All-Star in 33-34, 34-35, and 35-36. I believe only Tim Horton and Borje Salming have more All-Star berths as Maple Leafs.

Anonymous,  6:57 PM  

Mr. Conacher should definitely be in the "Legends" category ... Along with Harvey "Busher" Jackson, who does not appear on either list???

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