April 26, 2015

Tony Poeta

Tony Poeta is another of the many members of the "one NHL game" club.

While playing junior hockey with the Galt Black Hawks of the OHA in 1951-52, he earned a one game look-see with the parent Chicago Black Hawks. In those days an amateur player could play up to three games in the pros without losing his amateur status. It was not uncommon for junior players to get such opportunities. He took the train over night to Chicago to play at Chicago Stadium, but never registered a point.

Unfortunately for Poeta, he never returned to the big leagues.

Not that he didn't try. He returned to junior the following year but with the Barrie Flyers. He helped the Flyers capture the 1953 Memorial Cup. Doug Mohns, Don McKenney and Don Cherry were on that championship team.

Poeta then turned pro, no doubt with NHL aspirations tucked away in his hockey bag. He would take that hockey bag to Marion, Ohio, Cleveland and Valleyfield, Quebec over the next year before heading home to North Bay. He had young family and decided the only thing he was more passionate about than hockey was his family.

In North Bay he was reinstated as an amateur and played with the Trappers in the local senior league of the next several years.

In 1958 he was loaned to Belleville to help out the McFarlands. Belleville won the Allan Cup that season, and as a result would represent Canada at the next World Championships. Belleville would bring home the gold in 1959, defeating the Soviet Union, but Poeta was not part of that squad.

Long after his playing days were over he still remained active in the local hockey scene as well as baseball diamonds. He also loved his frequent visits to the beaches in Florida.

On May 2nd, 2004 Tony Poeta passed away at the age of 71. His death came just days after celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary.

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