Born on April 6, 1932, Connie Broden grew up dreaming of playing for his hometown Montreal Canadiens. He would play for the Junior Canadiens for two seasons while also attending Loyola University in Montreal, pursuing a degree in management and business administration.
Though his schooling was not finished by the time his junior hockey eligibility had expired, Broden continued his studies after turning professional. Mostly a minor league player in his 5 seasons with the Habs organization, he actually completed the degree while playing with the Cincinnati Mohawks of the IHL. He would also spend time with the Shawinigan Falls Cataracts.
Broden described himself as a player:
"I was never a great hockey player, not particularly gifted. I was a hard worker and a good skater. "
Goodbye NHL, Hello World
Never really cracking the Montreal line-up, Broden decided to retire from in 1957. After having his amateur status reinstated, he made a comeback and played for the Whitby Dunlops in the 1958 World Championships in Oslo, Norway. The Dunlops successfully wrestled the title away from the Russians.
"The World Hockey Championships was really something, it was a career highlight. Historically, Canada always won the World Championships. Then something happened. In '56 an Olympic year, a team from Kitchener-Waterloo got thumped by the Russians and in '57, the team representing Canada lost again to the Russians. So, '58 was a big, big emotional thing."
Broden was incredibly proud of returning the championship to Canada, and his role in it.
"I think if you look back, it's the last time Canada went through the World Championships unbeaten and untied. And what made it meaningful to me was that I really contributed. I was the leading scorer in the tournament."
Welcome Back To The NHL
Following the World Championships, Broden returned to the Canadiens in time for their playoff run. When the Habs won the 1958 Stanley Cup, Broden became the first and only player to win both the World Championship gold medal and Stanley Cup championship in the same season. Years later Ken Morrow, Brendan Shanahan and Steve Yzerman would win an Olympic gold and Stanley Cup title.
"When I came back to Canada, with all the publicity I had received during the tournament the Canadiens asked me to play with them. They didn't really need me, but it was a great way to end a pro hockey career. The late Frank Selke gave me this opportunity."
Life Off The Ice
Broden retired permanently in the summer of 1958, and went to work at Molson's brewery. Broden held several top executive positions at Molson's, including president of Molson's Alberta, brewmaster of Molson's Quebec and vice president for distribution and purchasing for Molson's Canada.
He later became a NHL scout.