Carl Brewer's place in hockey history (intended for the business board)

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by MacDaddy TLC*, Apr 16, 2005.

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  1. I watched the Life and Times on CBC today which was a feature on Carl Brewer. What do you think is his place in hockey history, specifically from a business perspective.

    For those of you who don't know much about Brewer, he was one of the players instrumental in establishing the NHLPA. He was responsible for bringing Alan Eagleson into the league, and was also the man who fought hard to see him convicted.

    At the end of the show I was left with one question: Does Carl Brewer deserve a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame, possibly in the Builder's category for his efforts in unionizing the players and in fighting for those who had been screwed over by Al Eagleson?



    Also, Please comment on Ted Lindsay, Gordie Howe, Bobby Clarke, and Bobby Orr if you have anything to add that involves these players in the discussion.
     
  2. GabbyDugan

    GabbyDugan Registered User

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    Hall of Fame? Probably not, since the Hall of Fame celebrates different kinds of achievements than Carl Brewer accomplished in his life. No doubt Carl Brewer was a pioneer...forsaking an NHL career to pursue his education, finding Europe and hockey decades before the rest of North America, questioning Eagleson's modus operendi and fighting with his health, his money and his lonely personal struggles to "right the wrongs".....I could go on and on....

    It's just that Brewer's efforts were unappreciated by the people who have benefitted the most from Brewer's very long struggle, and no one inside hockey really has taken up Carl Brewer's cause ....one lingering memory I have after watching this very good CBC production a few years ago was from near the end when the narrator said that no active NHL players attended Carl Brewer's funeral...
     
  3. jaws

    jaws Registered User

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    This guy should be in the Hall, no doubt about it. I watched the rerun yestarday as well and like the Big M said, he should definitly go in as a builder. Unfortunatly for him, the NHL and its Hall are anti-union, thus he will probably never get in. If Lindsay wasn't as good as he was, I wouldn't be too surprised if he didn't get in either.

    The HHOF is nice to go see, but its gotta be the worst Hall in pro sports, the guys they let in, and the guys they keep out, its unbelieveable. Lorne Chabot, or Chabotski, is I believe ranked 83rd or something out of the top 100 best NHLers of all time, yet is the only ol'timer in that list who isn't in the Hall. Why? Because in the 30s, he tried to start a union.

    Herb Carnegie, one of the guys in my avatar, was the true pioneer for black hockey players, played with Beliveau in Quebec, and was said to be better or as good as he was. Conn Smyth wanted him later when he was with the Leafs, but because he was black, he didn't get him. The racism continues in the NHL, as they still wont let him in the Hall, just because of the colour of his skin.

    Also pissing me off is the fact that Jack Adams, Conn Smyth, Jack and James Norris, Clarance Campbell, John Ziegler, and others are still in the Hall, still have their names on awards, and yet are the same guys who cheated NHLers out of their money, and ultimately many out of their lives as well.

    Kinda hypocritical, eh? On the one hand, they celebrate Lindsay's achievements, yet on the other, they have the guys that he fought against in the Hall, and even name awards after them! This is another reason why I don't trust the NHL and what they say today.

    One last thing, I think it is a damn shame that players don't thank or help out the guys before them. Their the reason why they have it so good today, yet you never hear about today's players supporting the players of yestarday or even thanking them for what they did. Its a damn shame. I think they should have to give 10% of their pay to these guys for their sacrifices.
     
  4. Pepper

    Pepper Registered User

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    No player/person has affected finnish hockey more in one year than Brewer did over here back in the late 60's. He's one of the main reasons why FEL/Finland is the most physical of European leagues/national teams.

    Dunno if that counts when it comes to NHL HHOF though...
     
  5. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Good post Jaws. One thing about the Carnegie story. I believe Conn Smythe's quote was 'I'd sign Carnegie in a minute if someone could turn him white'. Obviously, not a nice thing to say, but I wouldn't criticize Smythe directly for this. 6 gm's had the chance to sign him and Smythe was the one who spoke out loud. His omission and probably Brewer's are just a result of the industry being in a position where they'd prefer not to acknowledge and document certain truths. As to your comments about what today's players don't appreciate, I remember a Mtl. radio guy talking about how modern black ballplayers had never heard of or knew little about Jackie Robinson.
     
  6. jaws

    jaws Registered User

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    You're right, all teams were at fault for not signing him, I was just pickin on Conn because he was the only guy that said something. Also, the fact that he coached the Aces when Herb was playing for them, yet didn't want him when he went to Leafs, is also troublesome. There are other reasons why Conn is a bum, his hatred towards frenchmen, and the fact that, as pointed out in Net Worth, gave guys like Busher Jackson, who was homeless, a plaque instead of some food or money.

    As for why these guys aren't in the Hall, you are probably right, however, that is no excuse to not have these guys in where they belong. Especially if there trying to promote being multi-cultural and fair treatment toward players, right the wrongs of the past, etc. It's just too hypocritical to have guys like Lindsay in, and not have a guy like Chabot or Brewer there too.

    As for the colour thing, Willy O'Ree is celebrated as the guy who broke hockey's colour barrier, yet is he even in the Hall? I checked the website, but I didn't see his name. Again, if the NHL is trying to promote diversity, you gotta have these guys in there, otherwise you just look stupid.
     
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