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March 10, 2016

Tony Bukovich

Back in the day there was no more celebrated hockey family in Painesdale, Michigan than the Bukovich family.

Brothers Tony, Mike and Joe all dominated the youth hockey scene. The baseball fields, too, for that matter.

Oldest brother Tony may have been the best of the three at both sports. While Mike and Joe played both sports in Michigan through adulthood, it was Tony who made it the furthest.

Bukovich played left wing for the Red Wings between 1943-45. In 17 career regular-season games, he collected seven goals, three assists and six penalty minutes. He played five seasons in the AHL as well, most notably in Indianapolis.

In the summer times Bukovich pitched in the Brooklyn Dodgers' farm system.

Tony retired in 1948 and moved back to Michigan's Upper Peninsula and opened up the Tony's Sports Bar in Downtown Houghton. He later renamed it Red Wing Lounge and added a motel to his business holdings. He also joined his brothers as the player/coach of the Portage Lake Pioneers hockey team and Houghton Copper Sox baseball team.

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