Floyd "Busher" Curry

Floyd Curry was known to most as "Busher," a hard working teammate and the best friend you could ever hope for. But Queen Elizabeth associated Floyd Curry as the best hockey player in the world.

Floyd Curry was a good role player who had the good fortune to play with the Montreal Canadiens during their golden age -- he earned four Stanley Cup rings with Les Glorieux from 1947 to 1958 -- but the numbers -- 105 goals, 99 assists in 601 games -- don't exactly announce stardom.

"He was an honest, hard-working hockey player who'd wear a rut in the ice going up and down his wing," said Ken Reardon, Hall of Fame defenseman. "If you had 15 of him, you'd fall asleep watching them play but you need guys like that on your team."

Curry was a Hab for life, loyally serving with the Habs in many capacities after his retirement. He is perhaps most famous for scouting and clamoring for John Ferguson to the team in the early 1960s.

For most of his hockey life he was a modest player happy to stay in the shadows of hockey's spotlight.

Most nights, except one.

On Oct. 29, 1951 -- with then Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh in attendance -- Curry scored three goals in a 6-1 Habs' victory over the New York Rangers. The Princess, who'd be crowned queen the following year, was in the midst of her first royal tour and left The Forum under the impression Busher Curry was the best hockey player in the world.

It was Curry's greatest moment.

"Floyd loved to talk about that night and it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy," says Reardon. "I remember he hadn't scored in a long time, then he scored three in front of The Queen. He liked that."

51 years later Queen Elizabeth returned to Canada and took in another hockey game, this time in Vancouver as the Canucks hosted the San Jose Sharks. Floyd Curry was back home in Montreal, completely unaware of the event.

Sadly, Curry was stricken with Alzheimer's disease for many of his final 81 years in life. The disease stripped away any resemblance and life of Curry. His body was still strong but his had mind failed him miserably.

He required constant care and supervision, the same care and supervision Floyd Curry spent many years giving friend and fellow Hab Toe Blake. Ironically, he too was a victim to Alzheimer's.

Curry died back in 2006. No doubt he has taken his place in hockey heaven, telling everyone about the day he impressed the princess.


Anonymous,  5:06 PM  

As a 14 year old I delivered the Montreal Star newspaper to Floyd when he lived on Van Horne St, he was a wonderful man and I still remember his many kindnesses to me, including taking me to practices with Curly Mackay and Gerry Mcneil. As a 72 year old I remember him fondly.

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