March 05, 2014

Tracy Pratt; Storyteller Just Like Dad

Babe Pratt is a Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman known as one of the early blueline offensive stars in the era prior to Bobby Orr.

But did you know Babe's son Tracy Pratt also played in the NHL.

Yep Tracy played 580 NHL games in the 1970s, mostly with Buffalo and Vancouver. He also was a defender but he was not much of an offensive threat. He scored just 17 goals and 114 points in his career.

But he was a solid stay at home rearguard who played his career fairly anonymously considering his pedigree.

His one trademark - his strength, according to his dad.

"Tracy got into that weightlifting stuff like the young players were doing at the time but he got too strong," Babe said. "He had a bath before he left for training camp on year and shut the taps off so tight that we didn't take a bath until he came back in the spring to turn them on again."

Yeah, dear old dad ranks as one of the great storytellers in hockey history. Tracy could tell a few good yarns, too.

Such as the most memorable part of his first NHL game. He was playing in the minors and was on a short trip to San Diego to play the WHL Gulls when he got the call up.

"When we landed in San Diego, I was told to head over to join the Seals. I had no coat and only two pair of underwear packed for the trip to San Diego. My first game as a Seal? It was played at the Forum in Montreal. I froze up there!"

He summed up his playing career as follows:

"I was a journeyman player that brought an awful lot of try every night. I had an all-out effort. Sometimes, going all out, you don't accomplish anything. You'd come back to the bench exhausted. Experience teaches you. I was also tough in front of my own net.

Tracy Pratt returned to British Columbia's Lower Mainland after his hockey days were done. He opened a bar in Langley and then got into property management.

No comments: