Skip to main content

Brandon Convery

We never know what life has in store for any of us. The key is to live every moment in the moment, appreciate the people closest to you, and cherish your health.

Brandon Convery knows this all too well.

Convery was a speedy junior star out of Sudbury who became a top NHL prospect. The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted him 8th overall in 1992.

As a teenager he was living the hockey dream, but stardom did not follow. After a dozen seasons as a pro only played sporadically in the NHL, totalling 72 games with Toronto, Vancouver and LA. He is still considered by many in Toronto to be a draft bust.

“When I think about my time in Toronto, I could write a book,” said Convery, who retired in 2004. “I got there and they wanted me to play like Jeremy Roenick. They had video of him given to me. Jeremy at the time could score and stuff, but he would run around and knock your head off. “I was like, ‘what?’ Now I can laugh at it. But I had a lot of anger over the years.”

“Looking back, I don’t blame anyone but myself,” he said. “But I think certain people who are in their jobs now, it’s up to them to make sure these kids are well-prepared physically and mentally. Especially if you’re going to Toronto, you better be ready.”

Knee and shoulder injuries decimated his career, which he extended by playing in Europe through 2004. He had to retire due to concussions.

But Convery's true calling in life did not come to him until after hockey. In 2010 Convery contracted a virus that almost killed him. Convery recently shared this story on his website:

"I contracted a virus called Viral Myocarditis and it can happen to anyone, I was just the lucky one. What basically happened was all my internal organs were shutting down all at once. My liver, my kidneys, my lungs and yes my heart. By the time I was taken into Cedars in Los Angeles I was in bad shape. My wife was told by the head doctors that it was a good idea to call my family because we don't know if he will make it, it's pretty bad. 

"I was forced into an induced coma so my body would rest. They eventually weaned me off to try and have me breathe on my own. If I did survive, the doctors did not know if I would need a heart transplant which meant that I could be in the hospital for months. I was out in four weeks. 

"The doctor's today are completely surprised that I did. I had to learn to walk and breathe again. I went to cardiac rehab for the next four months and endured a long road to recovery. Today I am completely 100%. "

Convery also said his physical conditioning as a professional athlete was essential to him surviving this ordeal, as average people rarely recover and often die quickly.

Convery now shares his stories both on the ice and in life as a motivational and high performance coach for young athletes and their parents. Yes, he can help young hockey stars achieve their goals, but he offers a perspective of what really is important in life.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M