Hockey Heaven just gained one of their best scribes to ever grace an NHL press box in former Lawrence Eagle-Tribune and Sports Editor, Boston Bruins, and racing reporter, and Hockey Hall of Famer Russ Conway who passed away at the age of 70 Tuesday.
Conway is best known for his book “Game Misconduct: Alan Eagleson and the Corruption of Hockey,” and tireless work that helped bring down former NHL player agent and Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players Association who Conway exposed for stealing players’ pension money. Eagleson was charged by both US and Canadian authorities and did time in federal prison after being convicted of a variety of charges including fraud.
Through Conway’s investigative reporting masterpiece, he also discovered that Eagleson had lied to Bobby Orr, forcing a trade that sadly saw Orr finish his career with the Chicago Blackhawks. With Orr going to Chicago, Eagleson got a bigger commission. Orr had never wanted to leave until he was deceived into thinking the Bruins wanted to trade him, by Eagleson.
That and the work he did over the last decade to help revamp the NHL Alumni Fund and make sure former players were getting enough money to survive were a perfect example of the Labor of Love for hockey and it’s players that were Conway’s glorious career. Through his work on exposing Eagleson, Conway became close friends with fellow hall of famer and Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr, who he would chat with frequently until he passed away Tuesday.
“It’s a sad day,” Orr told Bill Burt of the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune after hearing of Conway’s passing the news. “He was a friend to all of us. He’s going to be missed.”
Conway’s work on the Eagleson case and his career earned him the Elmer Ferguson Award in 1999, the same year Wayne Gretzky was inducted.
Conway’s other passion was racing and he only stopped driving race cars and switching solely to owning cars in the past decade. He is also in the racing hall of fame.