Gary Aldcorn

Born in Shaunovan, Saskatchewan, Gary Aldcorn was like most of the other prairie boys. Skating for hours at a time while chasing hockey pucks on the frozen ponds of endless prairie was the norm, as was dreaming of playing for the big leagues.

But the brainy left winger was not like most of the other prairie boys - he was better. He was one of the few lucky ones who was able to achieve the Great Canadian Dream.

Aldcorn had to leave home for Winnipeg where he played with the junior league Monarchs from 1951 to 1954. He was a pretty good player in that league, although not a star. Perhaps his biggest break came in 1954-55 when he switched junior teams and leagues and played for the OHA's Toronto Marlboros. Aldcorn was a standout on that 1955 Marlies team which captured junior hockey supremacy by winning the Memorial Cup

Aldcorn's success of course caught the eye of the NHL, particularly the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs acquired his rights in 1956, and, after a year back in Winnipeg, Aldcorn returned to Toronto for parts of three seasons with the Leafs. While he spent as much time in the minor leagues as he did in the NHL from 1956 through 1959, he did manage to score 15 goals, 18 assists and 33 points in 86 games in the blue and white jerseys.

Aldcorn's best year in the NHL came the year after he left Toronto for Detroit. Aldcorn found himself often playing on the left wing with Gordie Howe. Aldcorn blossomed into a 22 goal scorer with 51 points in a full 70 games played.

"It was a big experience - a big thrill! I found that I could think with Gordie. I wasn't the greatest skater in the world, but on a hockey comprehension level, I was almost with him."

Despite their one season success together, Aldcorn and Howe were broken up in 1960-61, and Aldcorn's numbers plummeted. By mid season he was traded in a large trade with Boston. Aldcorn quietly rounded out the schedule with Boston before he decide to return home to Winnipeg.

Aldcorn was more than just brainy on the ice, he was super intelligent off the ice too. He was one of the rare players of his era to take part time university courses during his hockey career. By the time his education was done, he had a Master's degree in virology which led him to starting up his own biological company. Starting the company allowed Gary to realize he was an entrepreneur at heart, so he returned to school to get a Masters of Business Administration.

While his education pursuits were of great interest to him, hockey always remained close to his heart. He played in Winnipeg while studying, and briefly played with and later coached the Canadian national team. He helped to create a national coaches certificate program that gave youth and amateur coaches better opportunities and guidance.

Aldcorn's entrepreneurial spirit and love of hockey collided by the late 1970s when he founded the national sports magazine Hockey Player. He later targeted hockey equipment. He helped to revolutionize hockey equipment by creating Flak Equipment, which was later bought out by hockey giant Bauer.

Nowadays Aldcorn is mostly retired, and has found a love for sculpting.


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