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What could have been

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  • What could have been

    On another forum (guitar forum) someone started a thread "Who Do You Wish You Could See".
    Somebody listed Bryan Fogarty as someone they wished they could see play. This person was making some high claims about how he was better than Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, etc. To be honest I don't remember him. And he grew up and played the minor hockey system in my town.
    So I've been reading about him. Some comments from Wiki:

    Brantford Minor Hockey Association coordinator Bob Coyne told reporters that "he was a star. From the time he put skates on, he was better than everyone else. "We had seen Wayne (Gretzky). Wayne had to work at it. His game was outsmarting everybody else. Fogarty's game was outperforming everybody else. That's like comparing a Volkswagen to a Corvette.
    He beat all of Bobby Orr's record in Niagara Falls with the Thunder and the records still stand. Taken in the draft before Joe Sakic. Supposedly a quote from Mats Sundin:

    Fogarty could skate faster, shoot harder, pass crisper drunk than most of us could sober.
    Unfortunately thats how the fairy tale ends. The drinking plagued his whole career and lead to an early grave. Very sad to think about it. It makes me think about my own son who has been ravaged by mental illness and addiction. He started out his youth as an excellent hockey player. He trained under Bob Coyne here in Brantford for a bit. He was never an NHL caliber but his life seemed destined for better than what happened at age 16 when his mental illness started to show.
    Anyway I get a bit teary eyed when I read these sad stories such as Bryan Fogarty. Guys that never realized their potential having to battle their demons.

    One part of the story I found ironic, rooming him with Kordic to try and straighten him out:

    The Nordiques knew about his drinking problem and sent him to an alcohol rehab clinic in Minnesota, provided a psychologist, and housed him with a family in Quebec City. They roomed him with another hockey player who was looking to straighten out his life: John Kordic.

  • #2
    Got to see Fogarty play. Yes he was very talented.

    When Fogarty broke Orr's records Fogarty was 19/20, while Orr was 17/18. That generally makes a big difference regarding physical development. Plus Orr was playing against players older than him, while Fogarty was with a few exceptions not.

    In the NHL Fogarty showed flashes. 31 points in 45 games and then 15 points in 20 games with Quebec.

    Rooming him with Kordic demonstrates the Neanderthal attitude prevalent in hockey at that time. That and the hazing and drinking rituals of junior hockey.

    Fogarty was perhaps the prime example, as not only did he lose his career but also eventually his life. There have been other players who had their careers prematurely cut short. for various reasons. Michel Briere, Pelle Lindberg, Jiri Fischer, Vlad Konstantinov, Todd Bergen, Mike Marson, Scott Campbell. Just some examples 'off the top of my head'.

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