OSLO, Norway & BOSTON, Massachusetts — March 9, 1958 & April 20, 1958
Unassuming Connie Broden is the answer to one of the best hockey trivia questions: Who is the only player to win the IIHF World Championship and the Stanley Cup in the same year? Broden accomplished this unique double in the spring of 1958. As a high-scoring forward on Canada's Whitby Dunlops, he won the World Championship in Oslo, Norway. Later, Broden joined the Montreal Canadiens and won his second Stanley Cup in two years with the Habs.
Since 1977, when NHL players whose teams have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs have played at the World Championships, the double victory has been impossible, yet in earlier days when an amateur could turn pro or a pro revert to amateur, no one before or after Broden came close to winning the two great prizes in the same season.
While Broden was a marginal player in the professional ranks, the Montreal led the Oslo championship in scoring with 12 goals and seven assists in seven games. His most important goal gave Canada a 2-1-lead in the decisive game against the Soviet Union, on the final day of the tournament, March 9, 1958. The game ended 4-2 and the Dunlops won Canada its first title in three years.
Just six weeks later, Broden was with the Canadiens as they marched to their third straight Stanley Cup. Broden played only one of the five games in the finals against Boston, but that was enough to have his name etched on the hallowed trophy.
Broden's NHL career was as short as it was remarkably successful. In just three seasons with Montreal, he played a mere six NHL games in the regular season and seven more in the playoffs. In all, he recorded only two goals and two assists yet got his name on the Stanley Cup twice, in 1957 and '58. Some 50 years later, Broden's achievement remains unmatched. It might well be one that is never equaled.
As part of the IIHF's 100th anniversary celebrations, www.IIHF.com is featuring the 100 top international hockey stories from the past century (1908-2008). Starting now and continuing through the 2008 IIHF World Championships in Canada, we will bring you approximately three stories a week counting down from Number 100 to Number 11.
The Final Top 10 Countdown will be one of the highlights of the IIHF's Centennial Gala Evening in Quebec City on May 17, the day prior to the Gold Medal Game of the 2008 World Championship.
These are the criteria for inclusion on this list: First, the story has to have had a considerable influence on international hockey. Second, it has to have had either a major immediate impact or a long-lasting significance on the game. Third, although it doesn't necessarily have to be about top players, the story does have to pertain to the highest level of play, notably Olympics, World Championships, and the like. The story can be about a single moment — a goal, a great save, a referee's call — or about an historic event of longer duration — a game, series, tournament, or rule change.