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Brian Conacher " As The Puck Turns "


By Fred Wallace

The weather over the last two weeks was not spectacular, but while I was away I managed to read a couple of hockey books.

One was called " As the Puck Turns " by former Toronto Maple Leaf Brian Conacher.

Conacher, who comes from a storied Canadian hockey & sporting family, was a member of the last Toronto Maple Leaf team to win the Stanley Cup in 1967.

But Conacher's weaving story, in both sports and business begins with the Canadian National Team under Father Bauer in the 1960's and then rolls through the NHL, his work as a color commentator for the Canada-Russia series in 1972.

It continues with financially gut wrenching challenges managing the Mohawk Valley Comets, the Indianapolis Racers of the WHA, & then briefly onto the Edmonton Oilers and their curious way of financially operating the team in the beginning.

Later there are stops in Hamilton, essentially with the Copps Coliseum, plus the Royal Winter Fair and finally his days as Building Operations Manager with Maple Leaf Gardens.

There's a lot to like about Brian Conacher's work, both from a business point of view and from a hockey standpoint.

Personally, watching how Maple Leaf Gardens was run at the very upper level was astonishing and explains as much as anything why there's been no Stanley Cup for more than 40 years in Toronto.

" As the Puck Turns " sounds like a soap opera parody, and at times in the life of Brian Conacher, you'll find it was more like a soap opera than a soap opera.

I'm Fred Wallace


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