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1972-73 Brian Conacher WHA Ottawa Nationals Game Worn Jersey - Inaugural Season - Photo Match
Lot #25

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1972-73 Brian Conacher WHA Ottawa Nationals Game Worn Jersey - Inaugural Season - Photo Match
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1972-73 Brian Conacher WHA Ottawa Nationals Game Worn Jersey - Inaugural Season - Photo Match
Lot #25

This road red dureen gamer by Maska was worn by Brian Conacher during the 1972-73 WHA season, the league’s inaugural year. Born into one of hockey’s royal families, Brian followed in the footsteps of his Hall of Fame father Lionel, as well as several other family members who had paved the way before him. Conacher made his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1961-62. He spent four seasons as a member of the Leafs in the 1960’s and was a starter on the beloved 1966-67 squad, which was the last Maple Leafs team to win the Stanley Cup. Brian also spent time playing for the Canadian National Team in 1964 and 1970. During the 1964 Olympics, under the guidance of Father Bauer, the 6’ 3” center iceman netted a herculean 7 Goals in 7 Olympic games. After some time away from the NHL, Conacher made an NHL comeback with the Detroit Red Wings in 1971-72 and months later landed a rather memorable job. Conacher had a vast knowledge of the international game and in particular had foreseen the emerging dominance of the team from the Soviet Union. Therefore, it was Brian who got the call to sit alongside Hall of Famer Foster Hewitt as the color commentator during the 1972 Summit Series. Following the series, with the hockey juices still flowing, Brian inked a deal with the WHA’s Ottawa Nationals and represented them during the Rebel League’s inaugural season.

The game wear on this inaugural season sweater is solid and consists of stick and slash marks, board burns, board paint transfer, stitch pops, inner pilling and several team-sewn repairs. The original nameplate is also a treat most worthy of mention. Shown above are some beautiful photo matches of Conacher wearing this exact jersey during the 1972-73 season. Conacher provided veteran leadership to the Nationals and tallied 27 points in 69 games played as he helped lead his underdog club into the playoffs where he added another 4 points in 5 playoff contests. The Ottawa Nationals existed only during the WHA’s inaugural season, playing their home games at the undersized Ottawa Civic Centre. Financial limitations eventually led to a sale by the Nationals co-owners to a group of Toronto based investors, ultimately giving birth to the Toronto Toros. This terrific all-original photo matched example roamed the rinks during the WHA’s first year of play, features nice game use and would make a tremendous addition to any serious vintage collection, choice!