Marty Turco: In Conversation

He had more NHL wins (275) than goalies with names such as Bernie Parent, Felix Potvin and Kelly Hrudey.  His career goals against (2.36) is better than the numbers held by such household names as Henrik Lundquist, Jacques Plante and Carey Price.  His single season best goals against (1.72) is lower than the percentages posted by such luminaries as Dominik Hasek, Tony Esposito and Martin Brodeur.  To add icing on the cake, he was a 3-time NHL all-star. Who is this mystery man you ask?

Marty Turco, that’s who!

“I grew up in The Soo (Ontario), a wonderful place to be if you love to play hockey. Most of my games were played under the stars, not under a roof, and it might have been pond hockey, road hockey, whatever.  We just loved the game and played as much as we could.”

Marty did not get picked in the OHL draft, but the year after he had a stellar final year of midget. As a result, several NCAA schools came calling, but it was Michigan that got his attention.

“Yost arena in Ann Arbor is a special place, and I wanted to be a part of that.  When we lost in triple overtime my freshman year to end the season, I walked into the dressing room and saw how devastated our seniors were.  They didn’t want to take off their jerseys.  It was at that moment that I understood what it meant to be a Wolverine.”

Marty is currently the President and Chairman of the Board of the Dallas Stars Foundation, the team that he donned the pads for during his NHL career in all but 24 of his 543 game appearances. It is a position that he seemed destined to fulfill.

“I am enjoying the Foundation work.  We have an opportunity to partner with a lot of wonderful organizations and people in order to make a difference in our communities.”

And now, Marty arrives in Southwestern Ontario, not far from his University of Michigan haunts, to help with the drive to find a cure for cancer.

“The Play for a Cure initiative is a tremendous opportunity for local people to get out and help find the cure.  Who hasn’t been affected in some way by the disease?  In my case, our mother succumbed to renal cancer 5 years ago at the age of 63. Any time any of us can make a difference in the lives of others, we should.  I truly believe a cure will be found, and local research will be a big part of that effort.  In the meantime, we can help to make quality of life better for those affected by cancer.”

Northern boy, Michigan Wolverine, NHL all-star and all-around good person.  Marty Turco represents what is best about the game, and we are honoured and thankful that he is spending time with us at the Play for a Cure fundraiser.  All we can say is – thank you, Marty.

 

Vern Stenlund

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