top of page

Brian McFarlane and Bill Torrey honoured by St. Lawrence University

On Saturday, October 21, 2017 St. Lawrence University, in Canton NY, launched a recognition program to celebrate the history and tradition of it's hockey program. The first two honourees of "The Legends of Appleton" will be Brian McFarlane and Bill Torrey. These two well respected hockey icons were chosen as Legends for their contributions to building the hockey tradition at St. Lawrence, as well as, their play, commitment and impact on the University's programs and on the hockey world. As alumni of one of the most storied Division 1 ice hockey programs, McFarlane and Torrey have earned this award representing the most elite and well-respected hockey alumni this program has produced. Since the team's inception in 1925, the St. Lawrence men's hockey program has been a competitive team at the top ranks of American college hockey.

The celebration honouring these two individuals, who began their careers in a small ice rink known as Appleton Arena, is a testament to the University's commitment to Saints Hockey, acknowledging the 92 year history as well as the future of the program.

McFarlane, a 1955 alumni, was born in New Liskeard, Ontario in 1931. Brian was an excellent hockey prospect, making it to the Eastern Memorial Cup semi-finals in 1951 with the Inkerman Rockets, eventually losing to the Quebec Citadels.

After deciding to go to the University route, McFarlane became one of the most dominating players in St. Lawrence history. He set records with 101 goals, 10 career hat-tricks and three 5-goal games. These records still stand today.

Following graduation, Brian entered the world of broadcasting. After working for numerous stations, Brian wound up with a 31 year career with Hockey Night in Canada in production, as a colour commentator and program host. He also worked as a colour commentator on hockey broadcasts for CBS and NBC.

Brian is also a prolific author, following in his father Leslie's footsteps( who wrote many Hardy Boy novels under the pseudonym of F.W. Dixon), writing over 90 fiction and non-fiction books about the sport of hockey. He is one of hockey's most knowledgeable historians.

One of Brian's legacies is his work and association with Peter Puck. The happy little hockey puck that taught many girls and boys the rules and history of the game. Peter is even making an appearance this weekend at the "Legends of Appleton" festivities.

In 1995, McFarlane was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the media category.

Torrey, a St. Lawrence grad of '57, also had a strong University career with dominant teams. Bill was born in Montreal in 1934. His parents attended St.Lawrence as well as 3 of his siblings.

When Bill graduated, he held various positions, working at a radio station in Barrie, Ontario, a tour guide at NBC in New York and eventually made it to Pittsburgh handling promotions for the Ice Capades. His hockey career began in Pittsburgh when he handled publicity and business affairs for the AHL Pittsburgh Hornets..

Torrey began his NHL career in Oakland with the Seals in 1968. That lasted for two years under Charlie O. Finlay. He walked away from hockey for 3 years. He became the first General Manager of the new New York Islanders in 1972, transforming them from an expansion club into a dynasty. He eventually became President and then Chairman of the Board with the Islanders.

In 1993, Torrey was named president of the expansion Florida Panthers.

Bill Torrey was enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995 in the builder's category.

Images available at


bottom of page