Fanatic named the Knights (but didn't take the credit)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

It takes about a minute to figure out why Londoner Brian Logie believes he is Canada's best hockey fan.

By the time the minute is up, Logie is just getting to the downside of the list of hockey-related events and activities he's been involved with in his 63 years. If the list seems endless, that's because it is.

So when Logie said he's not surprised to be in the final five in Frito Lay's and the Hockey Hall of Fame's greatest Canadian hockey fan contest, no one else should be, either.

"I've been involved in hockey for 50 years," he said. "I have my own hockey museum in my house here. I worked with the London Nationals (before they became the Knights), the Knights. I'm a resource for the Hockey Hall of Fame on hockey sticks. I did a display for Museum London. Not long ago, the Nationals had a reunion and I had a display there."

He's a member of the Society for International Hockey Researchers and has provided bundles of information for hockey documentaries, films and books done in London and beyond. He conducts tours of the Hockey Hall of Fame and is forever helping students with projects on hockey.

In 1968, Logie won a contest for designing the green-and-gold uniform and the old knight's-head when London dropped the blue-and-white Toronto Maple Leafs uniform worn by the Nationals when they became the Knights.

"I actually picked the team name as well, but so did another guy," Logie said.

"And since I already had won the colours contest, we let the other guy win the name contest."

Logie's licence plate reads "HOCKEY."

To qualify as Canada's greatest fan, participants sent an essay on their background. There were more than 1,000 entries and judges selected five.

The winner will be decided by the general public, who can read the essays at www.tsn.ca/lays and vote for their favourite.

Logie is a retired high school teacher, but even he had trouble telling it all in 250 words or less.

He was succinct, though, when asked what it would mean to win. "It would be huge."

With deference to hockey great Gordie Howe, Logie said everyone calls him Mr. Hockey.

"All this started when I was a kid," Logie said. "I got a goaltending stick for Christmas.

"When you got something to do with hockey for Christmas, it was the best. It was such a neat hockey stick, it got me thinking, 'Where did it come from? How was it made?'

"Sticks became my thing. Ever since that first stick, I loved old equipment. I have an old (baseball) bat collection, old glove collection that are incidentals to my stick collection. I have about 500. I have to know, 'Who made that? How old is it? What about the company?' "

The oldest stick in his collection is from the late 1800s. He bought it at a flea market.

His most prized possession though has nothing to do with professional hockey. Logie played hockey at the high school, recreational and industrial league levels.

"During most of my hockey years up until a senior in high school, I was a goaltender," he said.

"That was before the era of masks. They brought out the (goalies-must-wear-masks rule) partway through the year. I had to wear a mask. I tried all the masks -- the clear one, the catcher's mask, two or three others -- but it was impossible.

"I just couldn't see the puck. My last year of high school I played as a defenceman and played the rest of my career as a defenceman.

"My favourite hockey item in all of my collection is the one goal I ever scored in all my hockey days. I saved the puck and stick."

Logie's passion for the game knows no age boundaries.

"I'm not a young kid," he said.

"There's no age limit to being excited about something. I'm quite proud of the fact I've helped so many people research hockey."


Videos

Photos