Gene Carr

Gene Carr's most obvious hockey skill was his superior skating ability. He was one of the flashiest skaters around in the 1970s.

Gene is the son of Red Carr, who was a minor league player for many years and also played briefly with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Red was also a hockey coach in Nanaimo. One would think Gene got his skating abilities from his father. But Gene, always the witty joker, insisted he got it from his mother.

Gene will forever be known as a high draft pick who never panned out. Picked 4th overall by the St. Louis Blues in 1971, Gene only played in 15 games with the Blues before being part of a big package heading to Broadway. The Rangers acquired Gene along with Jim Lorentz and Wayne Connelly for Jack Egers, Andre Dupont and Mike Murphy. For the next two seasons he was rarely used on the Rangers, although he gained a measure of fame in 1972 when he shadowed and shut down Montreal's Yvan Cournoyer during a playoff series.

The Rangers moved Gene to Los Angeles for a 1st round draft pick halfway through the 1973-74 season. That draft pick turned out to be Ron Duguay. Gene however continued to be cast in a minor role, mostly penalty killing, for the following 4 years in Los Angeles.

Perhaps in LA he was better known as a friend of Eagles Glenn Frey than for his on ice accomplishments. Frey sometimes wore Carr's #12 jersey while on stage and reportedly wrote the song "New Kid In Town" with Carr in mind.

"Glenn used to call me 'Hockey Hollywood,'" said Carr. "I've never really said much about (the song). From what I went through, it seemed normal."

Just 5 games into the 1977-78 season Gene was moved with Dave Schultz and a draft pick to Pittsburgh in exchange for Syl Apps and Hartland Monahan. Gene welcomed the move.

"All I want is some ice time and a fair shake" he said.

Gene finally got the break he wanted in Pittsburgh. He finished the year as a regular player, and chipped in with 17 goals (plus 2 more previously with LA) and 56 points.

Gene became a free agent at the conclusion of that season and signed on with the Atlanta Flames. He probably should have stayed in Pittsburgh, as he really struggled in Atlanta. He had just 3 goals and 11 points in 30 games, and spent half of the season in the minor leagues. That proved to be his final professional season.

Carr may be remembered as a draft bust, but his career really was derailed by injuries. In 1973 he suffered serious injuries in a taxi cab accident. He also missed much of the 1975-76 season due to surgery to remove fluid build up on his spine. The back pain would ultimately claim his career.

Carr returned to Hollywood after his playing days were done and worked as a transportation coordinator at Universal Studios.


Janice M. Sorensen November 6, 2011 at 1:34 PM  

I loved to watch Gene Carr play hockey - especially when his team(s) played against Montreal. He definitely was evenly teamed against Yvan Cournoyer...his blonde curls would be bouncing as he soared on the ice. And, he was very adroit as a Center or Left Wing and couldn't be pushed around... if he got pushed into the boards, you could bet there would be retaliation! He wasn't just a "pretty face" - he could scrap with the best of them! And, to his credit... he was one of the few hockey players to play his whole career and walk away with all of his teeth intact!! Love ya, Geno! Your friend, Janice

mooloy November 30, 2011 at 5:33 PM  

I shared a few classes with Gene in junior high school in Nanaimo B.C. He was one of the friendliest individuals I had ever met; I genuine nice guy. He lived across the street from the Civic Arena and seemed always to be on the ice. His dad (Red) had a gas station on the corner in front of the arena and when not operating it, was sharpening skates. On Friday nights the arena was open to the public for skating and everybody would skate counter-clockwise and Gene would be blowing past and weaving through everybody with incredible speed and grace. I was so excited when he became a high draft pick and followed his career with great interest. I recall him scoring a goal for the Rangers in a playoff series with Montreal. He swooped in, undressing the defense, and wristed a beautiful shot past the goaltender. He got an amazing standing ovation from the crowd; the broadcasters embellishing the suggestion that he looked like Bobby Hull with his long blond hair. I bumped into Gene when he visited Nanaimo many years later and he said that he had married the beautiful daughter of a Mercedes dealer in Los Angeles. It's nice to see him acknowledged on this website. It's so easy to be forgotten these days. I hope everything is still going well for a great individual.

DD September 15, 2015 at 7:50 AM  

Saw Gene last night at a reunion for Hollywood Teamsters. He worked for Universal Studios for a number of years after hockey. He's not as tall as he once was but he's still a good looking son of hockey bum.

Unknown January 19, 2016 at 8:24 AM  

I also grew up in Nanaimo in the Gene Carr days and wow could he skate... Totally remember Gene on Friday Night at the rink.. Honestly I think Gene was so good at a young age that things were almost too easy for him and then when he hit the pros the adjustment was tough and we all know how much confidence plays into sports... In Midget Gene could stickhandle and had a great wrist shot.. I remember watching a game in the BC finals and Gene scored six goals in one game... Gene played on the BC Juvenile team coached by my Dad who's grandson is Willie Mitchell who won two Cups with LA which ironically was Gene old team....Gene was always very nice to people which is not always the case with star athletes...Gene's parents were wonderful people.. Saw Gene at the golf club a few years back and the first thing I thought was wow I am sitting with Gene Carr... He will always be a legend to a lot of people..I think we all wish he had won a cup and had more success but hey he made the show.. I love this story of how Lindsay Thomson also from Nanaimo who was drafted by LA and playing in a scrimmage in training camp and some guy was going after Lindsay and Gene who was not a fighter came to Lindsay's defence and dropped the gloves with this guy... That to me says a lot about what Gene was as a person.. Gene is a well deserved Nanaimo Legend!!!

Unknown November 2, 2016 at 5:25 PM  

I talked to Gene Carr last Monday at my acupuncturist office. HE has 2 crutches, but says he'd do it all over again.......What a guy!

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP