St. Lawrence will honor Brian McFarlane and Bill Torrey as the inaugural “Legends of Appleton” during this Saturday’s game against UMass Lowell.
The Legends of Appleton is a recognition program launched by the university this fall to celebrate the storied history and tradition of the hockey programs, specifically those who helped build the hockey tradition at St. Lawrence through their play, commitment and impact on the programs and on the hockey world.
McFarlane is the only 100-plus goal scorer in St. Lawrence hockey history and finished his career with 10 hat tricks and three five-goal games. He had a 31-year career first as a member of the production crew and then, most notably, as both a color commentator and program host for CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada,” with additional time doing color with both CBS and NBC.
Additionally, McFarlane played as a member of the NHL Old-Timers for 25 years with teammates such as Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Norm Ullman and Bob Baun. A published author, he has written more than 90 books of fiction and non-fiction devoted to hockey and has established himself as the game’s pre-eminent historian.
In 1995, he was awarded the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in recognition of his broadcasting career by the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Torrey played on the St. Lawrence teams in 1954-55 and 1955-56 and became involved in management at the professional level following his graduation in 1957. He was hired as the general manager of the NHL’s New York Islanders in 1972 and established a dynasty in the early 1980s, with four consecutive Stanley Cup victories in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983, as well 14 straight winning seasons.
Back in 1993, Torrey was named president of the Florida Panthers, then an expansion team based in the Miami area. Once again, he built a contender with astute draft choices and in three years, the Panthers were in the Stanley Cup finals. Remembered for his bow ties, Torrey retired from active management in 2001.
Torrey was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1995.