Pete Backor

Fort William, Ontario (better known today as Thunder Bay) has always been a hotbed for hockey, but especially back in the early days. Brothers Pete and Hank Backor were both excellent players with the Fort William Forts. While they both dreamed of playing in the National Hockey League and both would enjoy long professional careers, only Pete would make it to the big leagues.

Pete didn't make the jump to pro hockey any too soon though. The defenseman found a good spot with the senior league St. Catherines Saints, playing and working in the southern Ontario town for five years during World War II.

The war was nearing an end by 1944-45, but the Toronto Maple Leafs still needed replacements with many of their players still under commitment to the Canadian military. Backor was brought in to play on the blue line that season. A good offensive defenseman, Backor scored 4 goals and 9 points in 36 games.

That would be Backor's only taste of NHL action, seeing as that many of the conscripts would return to the Leafs the following season. He was sent to the Leafs' AHL farm team in Pittsburgh where he would star with the Hornets until 1954. He was a 5 time all star and in 1952 he led the Hornets to the Calder Cup championship.

Backor, who was Rudy Migay's brother in-law, returned to Ontario late in his career to play some senior and semi-pro hockey. He retired in 1956.


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