Gerry Bradbury And Those Leamington #*%@&

We were up three goals after just six minutes of the first period. And then we let it all slip away as the Leamington Bantams, led by Gerry Bradbury, stormed back and it ended in a 4-4 tie in the opening game for the All-Ontario championship.

I had two goals and an assist in this game and was voted third star. The reporter wrote that “Dennis Kane, no great heavyweight on skates either, scored twice.”

He also wrote, “A crowd of only 500 was on hand for the game. For an Ontario-finalist team, Orillia fans could have shown a bit more respect.”

Leamington won the next game and claimed the title, and I’m saying here and now that if they didn’t have Gerry Bradbury, we would’ve won. Although I can’t remember how he did in game two.

Gerry Bradbury was one of those chosen few, one of those ringers who come along once in a while. We’d heard about him prior to the series, and he didn’t disappoint as he scored three of their four goals and assisted on the other in this first game. He seemed a shoo-in to go far, maybe even all the way to the NHL, and I’m sure scouts drooled.

I know he made us nervous, and he lived up to his billing in a big way.

Gerry Bradbury went on to play three seasons of Junior A in London, looked to have a fine but brief stay with Bowling Green, and was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings. He was a great young player, and although he never played a game in the bigs, at least he can now tell friends and family about those days when he was one of the best young players in Ontario, almost made it to the NHL, and how he and his bantam team beat Orillia to win the All-Ontario.

Gerry Bradbury

Selected in sixth round
No. 73 overall by Los Angeles Kings

Born June 15, 1950

Position: Center
Height: 5-11   Weight: 180
Last Team: London (OHA)                                 
Birthplace: Leamington, Ontario (Canada)
Hometown: Leamington, Ontario
Year Team League GP G A TP PIM
1967-68 London OHA 51 4 10 14 8
1968-69 London OHA 53 15 19 34 17
1969-70 London OHA 54 16 21 37 25
Never played in NHL.
Post-Draft Teams: Bowling Green (MCHA/CCHA)

Bowling Green Cooper Trophy (Top Scorer):
Bowling Green Outstanding Forward: 1970-71
Cleveland Cup Outstanding Forward: 1971 (Bowling Green)
Cleveland Cup All-Tournament Team: 1971 (Bowling Green

11 thoughts on “Gerry Bradbury And Those Leamington #*%@&”

  1. I like that you show us these guys, that were good that you played against as a kid Dennis. My dad always talks about the guys that he played against in Saskatchewan as a young one. It’s nice to see some guys that went on to some success, be it college hockey, or minor pro, etc, as they are the guys that have paid their dues just to get the chance to play hockey, and may have never made it to the NHL. I was never much of a hockey player myself, but had some chances baseball wise, until I blew out my ankle as an 18 year old. Third star, for 2 goals and an assist Dennis, should have been second star, after Bradbury stole your thunder.

  2. Thanks, Jesse. There were a few back then who you would think we’re absolute “can’t miss” types. John MacWilliams was another. And Steve Sly in Collingwood, whose brother, Darryl Sly playd for the Rochester Americans. These guys always killed us. They were a one-man show. I’ll bet your dad saw some beauties too, some of those prairie boys who could dance on the ice. And too bad about your ankle. Maybe you would’ve been a NY Yankee! Or an Expo!

  3. Dennis, that is a picture of a smashing young man with fire in his eyes if I ever saw one.

    Did your coach force your team to play The System® after you were up 3-1?

  4. Dennis,

    Looking at that photo I am reminded of the words of the Duke of Wellington when riding past one of the Irish regiments in his army,

    “I don’t know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me.”

  5. Yes, I know, Blue Bayou. But I wasn’t just a handsome face with big muscles. I was also a shifty fellow, and I remember like yesterday when fans far and wide would ask – who’s better, D. Kane or Bobby Orr?

  6. I would like to let you know the unfortunate news that Gerry Bradbury Passed away early this morning 2 weeks from his 61st Birthday. A loved Husband, Father, Son, Brother and Uncle

    He loved the game of Hockey and we spoke of the good old days often. He was a wasn’t a big guy on the ice by any means but he made his presence known with his speed and fire.

    He will be missed

  7. I’m so sorry, Mary. From all hockey fans and especially those who played against this fabulous hockey player, our deepest sympathies.

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