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Bryan Charles Fogarty (June 11, 1969 – March 6, 2002) was a Canadian ice hockey defenceman who played for the Quebec Nordiques, Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens. A great star in the junior leagues and a high draft choice in the National Hockey League (NHL), his career was marred by persistent alcohol and drug use, which prevented him from playing a full season at any point and led to him being frequently traded.

Bryan Fogarty
Born (1969-06-11)June 11, 1969
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died March 6, 2002(2002-03-06) (aged 32)
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for NHL
Quebec Nordiques
Pittsburgh Penguins
Montreal Canadiens
Halifax Citadels
New Haven Nighthawks
Cleveland Lumberjacks
St. John's Maple Leafs
NHL Draft 9th overall, 1987
Quebec Nordiques
Playing career 1989–2001

Playing careerEdit

As a youth, Fogarty played in the 1982 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from Brantford.[1]

Fogarty was an Ontario Hockey League (OHL) superstar in the late 1980s. He was chosen first overall in the 1985 OHL draft by Ken Slater of the Kingston Canadians, ahead of future NHLers Adam Graves (sixth), Bryan Marchment (12th), Brendan Shanahan (13th), and Jody Hull (14th). Scouts heaped praise upon Fogarty for his hockey sense and puck control. Combined with his 6'2" 205 pound frame, Fogarty's skills made him one of the best junior players in Canadian hockey history.[citation needed]

After breaking Bobby Orr's 23-year-old record for goals (38) by a defenceman in a season and Cam Plante's Canadian junior record for points (140) in a season by a defenceman with 155 in 60 games with the Niagara Falls Thunder, he was named Canadian Major Junior Hockey Player of the Year in 1989. Both records still stand, as does his single game record for most assists by a defenceman (8), which he accomplished twice in the same season (1988–89).[citation needed]

Fogarty was drafted ninth overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1987, six spots before Joe Sakic. He lasted parts of three seasons in Quebec, then he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning as a free agent, and later the Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks, without actually playing for Tampa, Buffalo or Chicago.[citation needed]

Fogarty also spent a fair amount of time in the minors, playing in Halifax, New Haven, Muskegon, Cleveland, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Minnesota, Detroit, Davos, Milan and Hanover. In 1999 Fogarty attempted a much-publicized comeback with the Toronto Maple Leafs' affiliate, the St. John's Maple Leafs. He lasted 3 regular season games with them before being released. In all he played nine seasons of pro hockey in seven leagues for 17 teams, retiring in 2001.[citation needed]

Fogarty maintains the distinction of recording the last natural hat trick in Quebec Nordiques franchise history when he scored three straight goals on December 1, 1990 in a 4-2 home win over the Sabres. He was the first Nordiques defenseman to record a hat trick.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Born in Montreal, Quebec to parents Tom and Virginia, Fogarty was youngest of five. He had two sisters, Lynn and Lori, as well as two brothers, Glen and Patrick. Lori died of cancer at 38.

Fogarty grew up in Brantford, Ontario, the same city in which Wayne Gretzky had grown up. Fogarty's talent was apparent right away. Brantford Minor Hockey Association coordinator Bob Coyne told reporters that "he was a star. From the time he put skates on, he was better than everyone else. "We had seen Wayne (Gretzky). Wayne had to work at it. His game was outsmarting everybody else. Fogarty's game was outperforming everybody else. That's like comparing a Volkswagen to a Corvette."[3]

Growing up, Fogarty listened to Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath, sported a mullet and loved to hang out with his friends. He started drinking at an early age. When Fogarty was 15 he was already playing with players who were much older than him due to his exceptional skill level, and would frequent bars and strip clubs with the older players. During his junior hockey days in the OHL he would take Niagara Falls Thunder coach Bill Laforge aside in the locker room and ask him in a whisper if his teammates hated him. During his time with the Kingston Canadians he was known as "Tippy" because, according to teammate Marc Laforge, "he was always tipsy".[3]

During his NHL days, he sought help on numerous occasions. The Nordiques knew about his drinking problem and sent him to an alcohol rehab clinic in Minnesota, provided a psychologist, and housed him with a family in Quebec City. They roomed him with another hockey player who was looking to straighten out his life: John Kordic. Fogarty and Kordic met in a rehab center and became friends immediately. In the fall and winter of 1991, Fogarty stayed clean with the help of Kordic. However, in January 1992, Kordic began using drugs again and died of a heart attack in August of that year. Quebec wound up trading away Fogarty to Pittsburgh Penguins. Pierre Pagé, the Nordiques general manager at the time, promised Fogarty he would trade him if he could stay sober for three months. He lasted 12 games with the Penguins, who were unhappy with Fogarty's lack of conditioning.[citation needed]

This scenario repeated itself many times over the next five years, with the Montreal Canadiens and non-NHL clubs.[citation needed] In 1999 Fogarty was arrested and charged with drug possession after a break-in at a school in Brantford. Fogarty was charged with break and enter, and possession of a controlled substance. According to the police report, Fogarty broke open the kitchen doors at the Tollgate Technological Skills Centre and was found standing naked in the kitchen with cooking oil spilled on the floor around him. He was granted a conditional discharge, placed on probation for one year, and was ordered to donate $500 to a local addiction service after he pleaded guilty to one count of mischief.[citation needed] After retiring in 2001, Fogarty remained clean and sober for more than a year. He returned to Brantford to take over the family business, Fogarty's Mobile Canteen.[citation needed]


Fogarty died in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on March 6, 2002. Fogarty and his wife Jennifer's uncle, Thomas Branch, were staying at a motel called the Compass Cove,[3] to do some deep sea fishing. He and Branch arrived on the morning of March 5. After checking in, they went right to the bar, where they spent most of the day drinking. The next morning, Branch was unable to wake Fogarty,[citation needed] and called EMS. Fogarty was transported to the Grand Strand Regional Center where he was pronounced dead shortly after. The coroner reported that Fogarty died of an enlarged heart. He is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brantford.[citation needed]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1983–84 Brantford Alexanders OHL 1 0 0 0 0
1984–85 Aurora Tigers OPJHL 42 9 12 21 57 14 9 27 36 50
1985–86 Kingston Canadians OHL 47 2 17 19 14 10 1 3 4 4
1986–87 Kingston Canadians OHL 56 20 50 70 46 12 2 3 5 5
1987–88 Kingston Canadians OHL 48 11 36 47 50
1988–89 Niagara Falls Thunder OHL 60 47 108 155 88 17 10 22 32 36
1989–90 Halifax Citadels AHL 22 5 14 19 6 6 2 4 6 0
1989–90 Québec Nordiques NHL 45 4 10 14 31
1990–91 Halifax Citadels AHL 5 0 2 2 0
1990–91 Québec Nordiques NHL 45 9 22 31 24
1991–92 Québec Nordiques NHL 20 3 12 15 16
1991–92 Halifax Citadels AHL 2 0 0 0 2
1991–92 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 4 0 1 1 6
1991–92 Muskegon Lumberjacks IHL 8 2 4 6 30
1992–93 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 12 0 4 4 4
1992–93 Cleveland Lumberjacks AHL 15 2 5 7 8 3 0 1 1 17
1993–94 Atlanta Knights IHL 8 1 5 6 4
1993–94 Las Vegas Thunder IHL 33 3 16 19 38
1993–94 Kansas City Blades IHL 3 2 1 3 2
1993–94 Montréal Canadiens NHL 13 1 2 3 10
1994–95 Montréal Canadiens NHL 21 5 2 7 34
1995–96 HC Davos NDA 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 2 0
1995–96 Detroit Vipers IHL 18 1 5 6 14
1995–96 Minnesota Moose IHL 17 3 12 15 24
1996–97 HC Milano ITA 16 8 20 28 30
1996–97 Kansas City Blades IHL 22 3 9 12 10
1997–98 Hannover Scorpions DEL 33 7 18 25 69 10 1 0 1 6
1998–99 Indianapolis Ice IHL 36 7 15 22 28
1998–99 Baton Rouge Kingfish ECHL 5 4 3 7 24 4 1 3 4 8
1999–2000 Hannover Scorpions DEL 22 5 11 16 34
1999–2000 St. John's Maple Leafs AHL 3 0 0 0 0
1999–2000 Knoxville Speed UHL 16 5 12 17 29
2000–01 Huntsville Tornado CHL 11 1 4 5 16
2000–01 Elmira Jackals UHL 18 1 8 9 16
AHL totals 36 5 17 22 14
NHL totals 156 22 52 74 119
IHL totals 160 24 72 96 158 3 0 1 1 17



  • Last natural hat trick by a Nordiques defenseman (Dec 1/90 against Buffalo Sabres, 4-2 win)
  • Most points in a season by a defenceman (CHL) - 155 (47G, 108A), 1988–89
  • Most goals in a season by a defenceman (OHL) - 47, 1988–89
  • Most assists in a season by a defenceman (OHL) - 108, 1988–89
  • Most points in a game by a defenceman (OHL) - 8 (3 goals, 5 assists) - Nov. 11 1988 - vs. Sudbury Wolves

Quotes about Bryan FogartyEdit

"He had everything. He could skate like the wind. He could see anybody on the ice. He could make the perfect pass. He was as talented as anybody I've seen in junior hockey. He broke all of Bobby Orr's records. Everybody was telling me you can't go wrong with him." - Maurice Filion, former Quebec GM, who drafted Bryan Fogarty with the Nordiques' first pick in 1987, six picks ahead of Quebec's second selection, Joe Sakic.

"He needed the beer, but it was his demise. The profession, the lifestyle -- he couldn't handle it. He wanted the hockey, but it was so hard the way he was. The inside of Bryan and the world around him didn't seem to meet." - Virginia Fogarty (Bryan's mother)

"Mats Sundin told me this: 'Bryan Fogarty could skate faster, shoot harder and pass crisper drunk than the rest of us could sober.'" - Max Offenberger

"He was the best player I have ever seen. He had a heart of gold. He'd never hurt a fly. He'd do anything for you. He just couldn't help himself." - Marc Laforge

Dave Bidini's song "The Land is Wild", released as the title track of the Bidiniband's debut release in June 2009, tells the life story of Fogarty.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  2. ^ 1991-92 Pro Set hockey card
  3. ^ a b c Adelson, Eric (September 18, 2002). " - Wasted". Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  4. ^ "Bidiniband Discography". MapleMusic. Retrieved May 29, 2009.
  5. ^ "The Land is Wild". CBC Radio 3. Retrieved May 29, 2009.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Dave Moylan
Jack Ferguson Award
Succeeded by
Troy Mallette
Preceded by
Ken McRae
Quebec Nordiques first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Joe Sakic
Preceded by
Joe Sakic
CHL Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Mike Ricci