Bruce Prentice Legacy Award Recipients (4)
Info coming soon!
Dubbed the “First Family of Hockey,” the Conacher family has a rich history that spans over generations making an impact in the sport.
Before the Richards, Sutters, or Howe siblings, one of the early great brother combinations in hockey was the Conacher family.
There was Charlie Conacher, back in the 1930s and he starred on Toronto's Kid Line with Joe Primeau and Busher Jackson. He was Bobby Hull before Bobby Hull was even born. With his heavy shot they called him The Big Bomber.
Multi-sport star, Lionel Conacher, nicknamed the ‘Big Train,’as good as he was at hockey, he was even better at other sports. Lionel was so good at lacrosse, football, wrestling, boxing and baseball he was dubbed Canada's Greatest Athlete. That was later confirmed in 1950 when he was named as Canada's athlete of the first half century.
Lastly, there was Roy Conacher. The youngster played in the 1940s, in the shadows of his brothers. He was a goal scorer who retired in 1952 with 226 goals in 490 games.
All three brothers were enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
In 1966-67, Brian Conacher, (Lionel’s son) made the Leafs on a full time basis. He had a respectable 14 goals and 27 points in 66 games where he was utilized mostly as a role player. Conacher didn't mind, as he was part of the now much celebrated Leafs team that captured the Stanley Cup.
In total six members of the Conacher family played in the NHL and among them they proudly were a part of six Stanley Cup winning teams.
Initiated in 1859 by the then president of the Toronto Turf Club, Sir Casimir Gzowski, the Queen's Plate was inaugurated on June 27, 1860, at the Carleton racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, with the prize of 50 guineas awarded by Queen Victoria. In 1902, the year after Victoria's death, the race became the King's Plate, after her successor, Edward VII. It became the Queen's Plate again when Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952.
Woodbine Racetrack hosted the race in 1876 and 1881 and then continuously from 1883 to 1955. The Queen's Plate has been running at Woodbine since 1956.
The Selke family offered invaluable time and effort to the professional hockey world. Frank Selke Sr. (May 7th, 1893 – July 3rd, 1985) and Frank Selke Jr. (September 7th, 1929 – March 18th, 2013). Their contributions to the NHL and all professional hockey were crucial to the development of the league. There would be no NHL rivalry without the Selke family.
Frank Selke Sr. began his managerial career at the age of 14 as the manager of the now Iroquois Bantams. He then met the legendary Conn Smythe at a tournament. When Smythe purchased the St. Pats and rebranded them as the Toronto Maple Leafs, he hired Selke Sr. as his Assistant General Manager. This was the start of the strongest partnership in NHL history for 20 years or so. With his performance with the Toronto Marlboros, he received enough financial investment to create the Maple Leaf Gardens; one of the most iconic buildings in the province’s capital.
The two would bring three Stanley Cups to the city and would be one of the elite teams during their tenure until 1946. When Smythe went to war, Selke took charge of the organization. With some changes that did not fit Smythe’s plans, Selke eventually resigned in 1946 and later joined the Montreal Canadiens organization as General Manager. This sparked the true rivalry we have today, as the Leafs continued domination of the 1940s but then Montreal would dominate the 1950s with five consecutive Stanley Cups (1956-’60).
Apart from his team-related work, Frank Selke Sr. helped build the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, was inducted in the Hall in 1960, and has an NHL Award named after himself for the best defensive forward in the league.
Frank Selke Jr. began his hockey career with his father with Les Canadiens in Montreal. He spent 21 years with the Canadiens where he saw the arrival of six Stanley Cups, namely during the streak of five in a row. He also participated in the broadcasting side of hockey, where he joined “Hockey Night in Canada” as an intermission host for the Montreal Canadiens from 1958-’67.
After a brief stint with the Oakland Seals, a product of the NHL expansion process, as the President and General Manager, he returned to Montreal to rejoin “Hockey Night in Canada”, this time as Executive Vice-President. He retired from the hockey world in 1992 to fully pursue a very influential role with the Special Olympics in Ontario; a role he had begun in 1981.
Frank Selke Jr. truly donated his time and tremendous effort to the organization and was named an honourary coach of the National team in 2003 at the Dublin World Games. He earned the award of Canadian Volunteer of the Year in 1991 from his work with Special Olympics. His work will never be forgotten.
Miles Gilbert "Tim" Horton (January 12, 1930 – February 21, 1974) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player, a defenceman for 24 seasons in the National Hockey League. He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres. Also a successful businessman, Horton was a co-founder of the Tim Hortons coffeeshop chain. Between February 11, 1961, and February 4, 1968, Horton appeared in 486 consecutive regular-season games; this remains the Leafs club record for consecutive games and was the NHL record for consecutive games by a defencemen until broken on February 8, 2007. This is remarkable because on March 12, 1955, he suffered both a broken leg and jaw after being checked by Bill Gadsby of the Rangers. The injuries were so severe he missed much of the following season, causing some doubt Horton would ever again play professional hockey. Horton had a reputation for enveloping players fighting him, in a crushing bear hug.
While playing, Horton was generally acknowledged as the strongest man in the game; injuries and age were little more than minor inconveniences. Chicago Blackhawks winger Bobby Hull declared, "There were defencemen you had to fear because they were vicious and would slam you into the boards from behind, for one, Eddie Shore. But you respected Tim Horton because he didn't need that type of intimidation. He used his tremendous strength and talent to keep you in check."