This very special email arrived this morning;
“Your recent interview with Terry Harper was excellent. You are an exceptional writer. It was such a pleasure to read his comments and his thoughts on his fellow players of his era. He always was a down-to-earth, good guy. It is very nostalgic to revisit the 6 team era with memories being shared by the former players of that time. In the early to mid 1960′s I was a student at McGIll and saw many of the Leaf’s-Canadiens games as I was friends with Jim Roberts and many of the Leafs. I was the late Carl Brewer’s life partner.”
I was really touched by this and so I wrote her back and asked if I could put this on my site. She replied;
Yes, you certainly may publish my note to you.
You have excellent taste being such a ‘Habs’ fan all these years! There hasn’t been a finer franchise in the history of the league and they certainly treat their former players with respect and dignity as well. I hope you never change elegance.
And about her life partner, Carl Brewer? He was a steady defenceman for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the days of the Original Six, with a solid career beginning in 1957 and lasting until 1980. He locked horns with coach Punch Imlach many times during the 1960′s simply because he wasn’t a slave to any master. He was his own man, and stood up for himself and others often during these days when players had almost no say whatsoever with management. Brewer also spent time in Detroit and St. Louis, was a member of the Canadian National team for a year, and even became player-coach of the Finnish National team. He was eventually inducted into the Finnish Hall of Fame, although he was Canadian through and through.
Carl Brewer was also one of hockey’s most intelligent hockey players. He was a learned man, scholarly like Ken Dryden, and when he was interviewed between periods on Hockey Night In Canada, you’d think you were listening to a university professor, not a hockey player. He was so well-spoken, so insightful, so original.
Brewer also spearheaded the fight against his former agent Alan Eagleson, which resulted in jail time for the disgraced agent who had defrauded millions of dollars from his clients like Brewer and Bobby Orr. Many players from that era can thank Carl Brewer for fighting the good fight for them.
A short biography of this great man can be seen here.