My name is Rick Manen and I have the
pleasure today of interviewing Bryan Fogarty’s mother, Virginia, and sister,
Lynn. Bryan Fogarty, in the 1980’s, was an OHL superstar and he grew up in
Brantford. He was chosen first overall in the 1985 OHL Draft by the Kingston
Canadiens. In 1989, after breaking Bobby Orr’s 23 year old record, and smashing
Cam Plant’s record, with 155 points in 60 games, named Canadian Major Junior
Hockey Player of the Year, both records still stand. He maintains the distinction
of recording the last natural hat-trick as a defenseman with the Quebec
Nordiques on December 1st, 1990, against the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately Bryan
passed away March 6 2002, at just 32 years old. What drew Bryan into his sport? Well, like most Canadian children, hockey is big in their life,
then our family, I think it was hardwired into our veins, Hockey Night in Canada and everything, you know, it would have been glorious to have this, so he you know, between my grandfather and our, you know, my dad and my mom, plus his older brother played street hockey with the bigger kids and he was the littlest one in the family, and so, you know, “I want to be like those big kids and I want to
be out there and I’m gonna play”, and he just loved it. He played with the big kids and, you know, it just went from there. Then it was, oh my gosh, it went from that to the 5:00 a.m. wake up’s and driving everywhere, and hockey bags and stinky stuff. Then he absolutely loved the camaraderie of his teammates. Many years in the in the station wagon with, you know, 5 or 6 other kids, and
laughing and joking and having a great time and, at one point I think he figured, you know what, I’m good at this, and at a very young age he had the determination, I’m gonna get really good at this, and he would practice, and practice, and practice, and shoot, and, you know, all kinds of strategies and, basically, that’s how he got interested in it. Did Bryan have any mentors that had an impact on his life or sport? Well there were several. First of all, I’m going to say, and most importantly, our parents. My dad had this instinct about him, he never gave up, he always believed that, you know, anything was possible and I think he instilled that in Bryan. My mom, most people don’t know this, but my mom was more the athlete in the family, she played basketball, she played ringette, she believed that we all should not be sitting in front of a TV, we should be out and we should be active, involved in sports and enjoying life and having a good time, so those are the first and most important mentors. In his younger years, in the Brantford Minor Hockey, there was a gentleman by the name of Mr. Warren Bechard, who was his coach for one year, I believe, but with Warren, he got Bryan, he understood how to motivate Bryan, he understood what made him tick and he really embraced that, and he would contact Bryan and, you know, explain, you know, when Bryan had issues were, you know, within the sport or whatever, and Warren would talk him
through it or call him on the phone. or whatever, so he was very, very important piece of the puzzle, and then finally Mr. Bill Laforge, which was his coach for the Niagara Falls Thunder, he was a very controversial coach, or people say, but Bryan admired him and respected him beyond whatever, and the two of them got it or understood each other and, you know, one fed off of the other I think, and so those are probably the most important people in his life, I mean other than his family. He was always in touch with us and he didn’t have, I mean he had lots of acquaintances and whatever, but he had truly lifelong friends and one of them was Brendan Roach, from 8 years old when we moved here. Brendan Roach was in his life and Greg Hover was his buddy till the very end. What are some of the highlights of Bryan’s sporting career? Oh, well, highlights. Well it was, he was a talented kid and he, you know, he could skate like the wind and he had a vision on the ice
that it’s like he had a photographic memory that he could know exactly where someone was placed and he could send that puck right on the right part of the stick. Highlights, so in 1985, he was drafted in the OHL Draft by the Kingston Canadiens and he was drafted first choice, he played for the Kingston Canadiens for 3 years. In 1987, he was drafted 9th overall in the NHL draft by the Quebec Nordiques. After the draft, he played another little bit for Kingston and then he was traded to a newly formed, well it wasn’t really newly formed, it was the Hamilton Steel, I forget what, Steel Hawks, yes, yeah they moved to Niagara Falls and became the Niagara Falls Thunder, and that’s where he was under the coaching of Bill Laforge, also some amazing other hockey players and that’s when the magic happened, and he had the, you know, the year of his life, and during that year he scored 47 goals, 108 assists for a total of 155 points , and by scoring those 47, he beat Bobby Orr’s record of 38 which was in 1964-65. It was also matched by Al MacInnis in,
I’m going to say ’84, ’83-’84, and now I’m gonna have to go to my
notes because there I don’t want to mess up here, so it was for Al MacInnis, it was
1982-’83, and his 108 assists broke the records for assists in a season by
defenseman, by Doug Crossman which was 96, and that was when he was playing for the Ottawa 67’s and his 155 points bettered Denny Potvin’s record of 123, set in 1972-’73, and he also broke the Canadian Hockey League record of points by a defenseman which was 140, that was set by Cam Plunked, in 1983-’84, so and during that year, or because of that year, he was nominated the CHL Player of the Year, the CHL Defenseman of the Year, he won the Red Tilson Trophy
for Most Outstanding Player, he won the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy for Scoring Champion, and he won the Max Kaminsky Trophy for Most Outstanding Defenseman. He was also named the Hockey News Junior Player of the Year for the 1988-’89 season. Because of all the goals and assists and
points, he won the OHL Milestone Award for that. He also holds the OHL Game
Record for the Most Points in 1 Game by a Defenseman, so he, and that’s 8
points, and he did that twice, so those are probably the most, but he was very humble about it, he wasn’t a showboat, he wasn’t glory. Maybe a little note is that during an awards
banquet for whatever, all of this, Bryan went up to his Coach, LaForge, and you
know, gave him a big hug and sort of whispered in his ear, he said: ‘How did you know I was capable of doing this?”, and he said: “I just, you just have it.”, and he, Bryan, during that time, like for that award, he had won 2 tickets to Hawaii
and he gave them to Bill and he said: “Here I want you to have this.”, and Bill
said: “no Bryan, when you make it to the NHL and you can afford it, we’ll
go to Hawaii together.” How has hockey impacted Bryan’s life? Hockey was Bryan’s life from a very, very young age. He ate, slept, dreamt, to dream like he played it in his head, he played it every day of his life to the point, there was a couple of years that my parents were thinking maybe we should get him into something else, because it was just, everything was
hockey for him, it was his conditioning, it was, you know, his nutrition,
it was everything in his life. What does it mean to the family for Bryan being inducted? It’s a huge honour, and as we were talking
earlier, it’s about the history, it’s about remembering, it’s about that there
was a kid that actually achieved these things and other kids can achieve this.
Yeah, it’s it’s definitely an honour, the biggest. I wish that our dad was
here to have experienced this in his lifetime, and I’m so grateful that my mom
has been able to see this happen. What advice would you share with a young aspiring athlete? Well dream, dream
big. Practice, practice, practice. Play every game, do anything you do, to
the best of your ability everyday, all the time. Never stop. If this is what you want, you have to perform at your highest
level every single day, every single moment of your life.

2017 Inductee, Bryan Fogarty – Hockey
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2 thoughts on “2017 Inductee, Bryan Fogarty – Hockey

  • May 11, 2019 at 2:52 am
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    Yay for Bryan 🙂

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 10:22 pm
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    I wish he could have found the joy in his life.
    He had unbelievable talent and I’m sure he would have had a long career.
    We always loved you Bryan

    Reply

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