March 16, 2016

Charlie Conacher Did It All

March 16, 1935. Toronto Maple Leafs' legend Charlie Conacher scores three goals in a 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. It is the 12th hat trick of Conacher's career.

Conacher excelled at both ends of the ice that night. When Leafs' goaltender George Hainsworth had to leave the game with an injury with three minutes left, Conacher took to the net. Shots on goal statistics did not survive the passage of time, but he did not surrender a goal, securing the victory for the Leafs.

Charlie Conacher was the Bobby Hull of hockey before Bobby Hull ever came along.

Conacher was big and strong, with a shot that was feared by goaltenders everywhere in the NHL. In fact, once after being hit in the rump by an errant Conacher shot, King Clancy quipped "It felt like somebody had turned a blow torch on me. I couldn't sit down for a week."

Clancy had a certain fondness for "The Big Bomber."

"I never had a finer friend in Toronto than Charlie," said Clancy, who was friends with everyone including the ushers. "He was my protection as a Maple Leaf. I wasn't too big and not too good with my mitts, although I tried to win many a battle. If you got a punch in the chin, you either went down or stood up, shook your head and took it. but Conacher was Toronto's policeman for many years and a great one. He didn't go looking for trouble, but if it came along he would clear it up."

A member of a famous athletic family, he played 12 seasons in the league. While brother Lionel gets to most acclaim as the best athlete, it was Charlie who gets the nod as the best hockey player. The five time All Star and two time Art Ross winner is considered one of the greatest right wingers of any era. A member of the famous Kid Line with Busher Jackson and Joe Primeau.

Here is the full Charlie Conacher biography.

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