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Memorable Manitobans: Walter “Turk” Broda (1914-1972)

Hockey player.

Born at Brandon, Manitoba on 15 May 1914, he is said to have acquired the nickname “Turkey Egg” at his Brandon school, for his abundance of facial freckles, later shortened to “Turk”.

In 1935, he turned professional with the Detroit Red Wings. There he was seen by Conn Smythe, owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who bought his contract. He played with Toronto for 16 years, missing two years due to military service during the Second World War. He twice won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender. He played in a record 101 Stanley Cup games and had a 2.08 goals-against average, a playoff record. In the 1949 championship, he allowed only four goals as the Maple Leafs swept Detroit in four games. He retired in 1952. He then took to coaching minor hockey, with the Weston (Ontario) Dukes, the Toronto Marlboros, the Newmarket (Ontario) Junior B Huskies, and teams at Charlotte (North Carolina), Moncton (New Brunswick), Quebec, and London (Ontario). He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1967.

He died at Toronto, of a heart attack, on 17 October 1972.


“Famed former Leaf, Turk Broda, is dead”, Winnipeg Free Press, 18 October 1972, page 63.

“Turk Broda’s early years”, Winnipeg Free Press, 19 October 1972, page 56.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 September 2011

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