The 1960s Owen Sound Greys Stars who went on to NHL action  

The 1960s Owen Sound Greys stars who went on to NHL action including Brian Perry, Doug Brindley, Jim Schoenfeld, and Jack Lynch brought Owen Sound a reputation as a hockey hotbed!


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The 1960s began with only one major hockey attraction in Owen Sound, the Junior "B" Greys. The Mercurys had ceased operations at the end of the 1956-57 season. Throughout the 1960s the junior club was extremely competitive and some of their stars went on to distinguished professional hockey careers. 

Forward Brian Perry notched 44 goals and 41 assists for the Greys in the 1963-64 season. The next year he began his professional career with the New York Rovers of the EHL. After two campaigns in that league he moved to the Providence Reds of the AHL. In 1968 he was drafted by the Oakland Seals. Perry spent two years with that NHL club before being drafted by Buffalo. 

Brian PerryBrian Perry Oakland Seals - Paul White Hockey Memorabilia Collection

However, he only played one game with the Sabres. He later joined the WHA, playing three seasons for three teams before retiring at the end of the 1974-75 season. 

Another former Grey, Walkerton native Doug Brindley, left Owen Sound to play junior hockey in Niagara Falls. At the end of his junior career he was drafted by Toronto. However, Doug only played one NHL game for the Maple Leafs. After playing three seasons in the minor professional leagues he signed with the Cleveland Crusaders of the World Hockey Association. He retired from professional hockey at the end of the 1975-76 season. However, Brindley also reached stardom, of sorts, in another realm of the entertainment world. He had a role in the movie Slapshot which starred Hollywood legend Paul Newman. 

In the 1968-69 season the Greys’ defense was anchored by Jim Schoenfeld. After that season the big red head joined the London Junior "A" club. Jim's Junior "A" career saw him also play for the Hamilton Red Wings and the Niagara Falls Flyers. He was drafted in the first round, 5th overall, by the Buffalo Sabres. 

jim schoenfeldJim Schoenfeld Rookie Card - Paul White Historic Sports Card Collection

For the next nine- and one-half seasons Schoenfeld anchored the Sabres defense. He was traded to Detroit and later spent time with the Boston Bruins, and also back to Buffalo before retiring at the end of the 1984-85 season. Schoenfeld has since coached in the NHL.

Schoenfeld's departure from the Greys left a big hole on the defense, but that void was filled by Jack Lynch. The 1969-70 season also marked the emergence of the "B" line of Bishop, Buckton, and Burlington. Not only did this trio of high scorers have surnames that started with the letter "B', but they all shared the same first name — Bill! The "B"s terrorized the goalies throughout the league scoring goals, seemingly at will. With Lynch anchoring the defense and the "B"s providing the offense, the Greys dominated league play. 

At the end of the season, Lynch was drafted by Oshawa, and after a great junior career with the Generals he was the first player drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL's amateur draft. Jack played in the NHL with the Penguins, Red Wings and Capitals before a severe leg injury forced him into retirement. 

jack lynchJack Lynch Rookie Card - Paul White Historic Sports Card Collection

Although the Greys provided hockey fans with great entertainment during the decade many area hockey enthusiasts still yearned for the return of Senior hockey to the Owen Sound arena. Finally, they were successful when the Owen Sound Crescents joined the OHA Senior "A" league for the 1969-70 season. 

One of the players to suit up with the Crescents that first season was Dave McComb. McComb was the son of former Mercurys star Bill McComb. The younger McComb played junior hockey in Guelph and then turned professional in the New York Rangers farm system. He starred for several years in the AHL before returning to his hometown. His presence in the Crescents line-up attracted many fans to games, both on the road and in Owen Sound. 

Senior hockey lasted only a few more years in Owen Sound but the Greys have continued to provide exciting hockey for area hockey fans. Since the 1960s many other area players have also used the local junior club as a stepping stone to the professional ranks. 

The information used in this article came from several hockey history books, the Owen Sound Sun Times, and an interview with Jack Lynch.

A version of "The 1960s Owen Sound Greys Stars who went on to NHL action," originally appeared in my Local History column in the December 3, 1999 edition of the Owen Sound Sun Times. For more information about Owen Sound's hockey history, check out my latest hockey book, Journey Through Owen Sound's Hockey History.

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The 1960s Owen Sound Greys Stars who went on to NHL action including Brian Perry, Doug Brindley, Jim Schoenfeld, and Jack Lynch brought Owen Sound a reputation as a hockey hotbed!

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