Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Connie Poitras

Conrad "Connie" Poitras never played in the NHL and played only one season in the AHL, but over his ten year career he became the only man in history to play on a minor league squad with both Gordie Howe AND Jean Beliveau.

Born in Quebec City in 1924 he played junior with the Verdun Terriers in 1943/44 scoring 18 points in 14 games. The next season was his only spent in the AHL with the Indianapolis Capitols. He scored 16 points in 56 games while playing in front of future Hall of Fame goalie Harry Lumley. His teammate calibre increased even more the next year with the Omaha Knights of the USHL. Fresh off the farm was a 17 year old Gordon Howe who tallied 48 points in 51 games on his way to becoming a legend.

After two more years in the USHL he joined the San Diego Skyhawks of the PCHL. In 1948/49 Poitras scored 30 goals, 52 points in 65 games and led the playoffs in goal scoring with 8 in 14 games as San Diego won the Patrick Cup championship. By 1950/51, Poitras was back home playing for the Quebec Aces of the QMHL. As a teammate he was witness to the very beginning of the professional career of Jean Beliveau. "Le Gros Bill" played one game with the Aces scoring two goals and an assist. Beliveau would lead the Citadelle du Quebec to the Memorial Cup that year, scoring 28 points in 10 games.
Beliveau returned for two more seasons with the Aces, leading the league in goals and points each year before moving to superstardom with the Habs. Poitras would play two more seasons of hockey in lower level pro leagues before retiring at age 29.
He is alive and well today, along with the two legends whose careers he witnessed starting.

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