Brian McFarlane (born August 10, 1931 in New Liskeard, Ontario) is a Canadian television sportscaster and author. He is also the Honorary President of the Society for International Hockey Research. He is the son of the prolific writer Leslie McFarlane who wrote many of the early Hardy Boys books.
Early life and careerEdit
Brian McFarlane attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, on a hockey scholarship, graduating in 1955. In his four years he scored 101 goals for the Skating Saints, which remains a St. Lawrence record. On three occasions, he scored five goals in a game, a school record shared with several others.
After graduating, he worked in television at WRGB in Schenectady, New York, before moving to CFCF-TV in Montreal, Quebec (where he was sports director) and CFTO in Toronto, Ontario. He had a lengthy career in broadcasting and journalism.
National Hockey League broadcastingEdit
He is perhaps best known as a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada for 25 years. He made similar broadcasts on NHL games for the major American networks CBS and NBC and has written more than 50 books on hockey. McFarlane is an expert on hockey history and has compiled several volumes of NHL lore titled "It Happened in Hockey," as well as a 1999 series detailing the colorful history of the Original Six NHL teams. His memoirs, published by Stoddart Publishing] in 2000, are entitled Brian McFarlane's World of Hockey.
McFarlane was also a colour commentator on Toronto Maple Leafs local telecasts until 1980, when he made on-air comments that were critical of Leafs owner Harold Ballard. He was subsequently banned from the Maple Leaf Gardens press box. For Hockey Night in Canada, he was moved off Toronto games at this point. He also the host of Coach's Corner with Don Cherry when Ron MacLean was out for the Winter Olympics or when the schedule load necessitated it. His last year with HNIC was 1994, ending a 31-year association with HNIC.
Peter Puck connectionEdit
McFarlane is often incorrectly cited as the creator of the cartoon character Peter Puck. The cartoon puck, which appeared on both NBC's Hockey Game of the Week and CBC's Hockey Night in Canada during the 1970s, was actually the creation of NBC executive Donald Carswell. After the network stopped carrying NHL hockey, McFarlane purchased the rights to Peter Puck from NBC's production partner, Hanna-Barbera.
In 2006, Brian sold much of his hockey collection to the Municipality of Clarington, and it now comprises most of Total Hockey, a multi-media, interactive museum located at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex in Bowmanville.
McFarlane currently resides in the Toronto area.
- 1995 inducted into the media section of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
- Admitted into the Ontario Sports Legends Hall of Fame.
- Admitted into the Ottawa Sports Legends Hall of Fame.
- Admitted into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame.
- Admitted into the St. Lawrence University Hall of Fame.
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