March 17, 2016

Ken Broderick

Goaltender Ken Broderick passed away on March 13th, 2016. The 74 year old Niagara Falls, Ontario native had been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis.

Broderick was one of two brothers to make it to the NHL, both as a goaltender. Len only played in one game. Ken, who only started playing the position when he was 14 years old, played in 27, plus more big league games in the World Hockey Association.

Perhaps Ken could have played more NHL games. He came out of the Toronto Marlies junior system - where goaltending legend Turk Broda helped shape his game - in the late 1950s and was highly regarded as a top prospect. But he eschewed the professional game for much of the 1960s, choosing to represent Canada on the international scene instead.

Broderick was part of Father Bauer's Canadian national team that trained together year round. Sharing the goaltending duties with Seth Martin, Broderick played for Canada at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics and the 1965 and 1966 World Championships.

He was particularly strong in those two World Championships, posting a combined 7-0-1 record with four shutouts. Yet somehow Canada came home only with one bronze medal.

Broderick was also strong at the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble. He ended up taking the net from Wayne Stephenson and with impressive wins over USA, Czechoslovakia and Sweden he helped secure the Olympic bronze medal for Canada. He was give the Directorate Award as best goalie in that Olympic tournament.

Broderick was always quick to praise coach Father Bauer, such as this excerpt from The Slapshot Diaries:

"Father Bauer always played a teaching role. He ranks right up there with the best. He made sure that the guys who played on the team were going to university, he was just concerned about the whole individual, whereas in the NHL, all they wanted you to do was forget about your education, just be a hockey player."

Broderick finally turned pro after the 1968 Olympics. He would get short stints with Minnesota and Boston but mostly played in the minor leagues. He ended his career playing for the Edmonton Oilers and Quebec Nordiques in the WHA.

Broderick later went on to work as an executive for Tim Hortons, helping to establish the coffee giant's presence in amateur hockey and sport.

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