This last week I sat down with former Stanley Cup Champion Cam Connor for an interview on The Broadway Hat Podcast. Cam played 10 seasons combined between the WHA and NHL. Cam tells stories about his legendary teammates Gordie Howe, Guy Lafleur, and Wayne Gretzky. If you are a fan of old-school hockey stories you will love this interview.

Flin Flon Bombers

Eight hours north of Winnipeg there is a small mining town called Flin Flon. This is where the hockey world found out about Cam Connor. In his WCHL (now the WHL) rookie year Connor earned the trust of the coaching staff right away and was named the team captain. Cam would go on to have an incredible season for the Bombers. He would score 47 goals and produce 91 points, while also racking up 376 penalty minutes. He was named to the WCHL All-Star game and was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.

Draft Dilemma

After his outstanding season in the WCHL Connor was one of the top prospects of the 1974 draft class. He was such a hot commodity that he was drafted in both the NHL and the new WHA drafts. The Montreal Canadiens drafted Cam 5th overall and the Phoenix Roadrunners drafted him 4th overall. According to Cam Phoenix offered him the largest contract ever for a junior player and ultimately turned down Scotty Bowman and the Canadiens for the new upstart WHA.

WHA

In the interview, Cam talks about the craziness of the WHA. Nightly brawls drew major crowds. He would fight multiple times a night sometimes. He also talks about fighting the Carlson brothers who became famous as the “Hanson Brothers” in the movie Slapshot. Cam played his first two seasons with the WHA with the Roadrunners. He would play his final two WHA seasons with the Houston Aeros. While with Houston he became teammates with the legendary Gordie Howe. In his first season with the Aeros he had a breakout season. Scoring 35 goals and was selected to the 1977 WHA All-Star Game. The Aeros franchise collapsed after his second season and ended Cam’s tenure in the WHA. He would play 274 games in the league, scoring 83 goals, averaging .62 points per game, and racking up 904 penalty minutes.

Montreal Canadiens and The Stanley Cup

Four years after turning down Scotty Bowman’s contract offer Cam signed with the Canadiens. It was a season of ups and downs. Cam talks about the poor way he was treated by Bowman the entire season. Cam also battle injuries and an illness that limited him to only 23 games that season. He also talks about how if it wasn’t for his teammates, such as Guy Lafleur, he’s not sure how he would have gotten through it.

CANADA – APRIL 21: Cam Connor (20) wound up on the ice but not before he put a trickler behind Maple Leafs goaltender Mike Palmateer to give the Canadiens a 4-3 overtime victory. (Photo by Frank Lennon/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Cam’s big moment came in the playoffs that season against hated rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs. After getting scratched for the first two games of the series legendary Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden convinced Bowman to give Cam a chance. The game ended up going into Double OT. Connor didn’t see the ice during the first four periods. Finally, he got his shot in the second overtime and ended scoring the game winning goal in his first and only shift of the game. The Canadiens would go on to not only win that series but the 1978-79 Stanley Cup.

Edmonton Oilers

With the WHA dissolving, the NHL held an Expansion Draft in 1979 for the new incoming teams that were being absorbed into the league. The Edmonton Oilers had the first pick of the draft and Hockey Hall of Famer Glen Sather selected Connor with the selection. Cam tells a great story about getting asked by Sather to take out the Oilers new rookie Wayne Gretzky.

Safe to say Wayne didn’t have too much difficulty adjusting to the NHL. Connor would only play 38 games with the Oilers before he was traded to the New York Rangers.

New York Rangers

Cam would play parts of four seasons with the Rangers. He battled injuries for most of his Rangers tenure. His biggest contribution in New York came during the 1982 playoffs. After not playing in a game during the regular season Cam scored 4 goals in 10 games that playoff. In the second round, the Rangers once again ran into the dynasty New York Islanders. The Islanders eliminated the Rangers in six games.

Cam Conner played parts for 4 seasons for the New York Rangers, he was featured on Episode 71 of The Broadway Hat Podcast

Storyteller

Cam is a fantastic storyteller. He talks about his lifelong friendship with wrestling legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Cam shares great stories about going out with Roddy and the WWF superstars of the 70s and 80s. Including a story about Andre the Giant. He talks about playing in the alumni game for the original NHL outdoor game. The Canadiens and Oilers faced off in the 2003 Heritage Classic. Cam played for both teams in his career but suited up for Montreal in the game. The alumni playing in the game had a combined total of 123 Stanley Cup championships, 111 All-Star Games, and 15 Hall of Famers.

Be sure to bookmark our hockey page for hockey coverage and follow Belly Up Hockey on Twitter: @BellyUpHockey. Follow me on Twitter for more takes on the New York Rangers and USA Hockey: @KHallNYYou can also listen to my NY Rangers podcast The Broadway Hat Podcast on Apple Podcast and Spotify for Rangers news and interviews with past and current players.

About Author

Kyle Hall

Kyle is a lifelong diehard New York Rangers fan and in 2020 took over as the teams beat writer for Belly Up Sports. Kyle hosts a NY Rangers podcast on the Belly Up Podcast Network called The Broadway Hat Podcast. Kyle also covers USA Hockey and is a credentialed media member of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

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