The Golden Age of Hockey on Prince Edward Island began in the 1970's. NHL expansion in 1967 led to more teams being added and even more when the World Hockey Association arrived in 1972. More teams meant more jobs were available and the expansion of the minor leagues. Only five Island raised players had ever played in the National Hockey League prior to the 1970's. Forbie Kennedy was the only to player from PEI to stick in the big leagues. That number would double in the 70's and increase in future seasons. The Charlottetown Jr. Islanders had six players jump to the pro ranks after their outstanding year of 1969-70 when they went deep into the Memorial Cup playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs found Errol Thompson while he was playing with Sandy's Charlottetown Royals.Bill MacMillan after playing on the Memorial Cup Champion St. Michael's Majors in 1961, the Maritime Intercollegiate champs at Saint Dunstan's in 1965 and winning a bronze medal with the Canadian National team in Grenoble a the Winter Olympics in 1968 - he also became a Maple Leaf. Rick Vaive began his pro career with Birmingham in the WHA and was one of the Baby Bulls. Al MacAdam, Bobby MacMillan, Hilliard Graves, Bobby Stewart, and Gary Simmons were also part of the expansion era.. They all began their career with new NHL franchises. MacAdam would play on the 1973-74 Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers. Hockey interest also grew on PEI as minor hockey began to grow. The Island Jr. Hockey League was formed and senior hockey was also popular during the decade.The Charlottetown Colonels-Generals-Eagles franchise went to the Centennial Cup junior playoffs representing PEI for six straight years. The Sherwood-Parkdale Metros dethroned them as champs in 1979 and reached the final game of the Centennial Cup finals the same year. Some new future stars were still in the amateur ranks by the end of the decade. Dave Cameron, who would become the head coach of the Ottawa Senators and Doug MacLean, future Florida Panthers coach and Columbus Blue Jackets general manager were getting their university education at UPEI during the decade.Three prominent amateur coaches on PEI would emerge during the decade. Gordie Whitlock with the Charlotteown Juniors, Angus Carroll with Sherwood-Parkdale, and Forbie Kennedy with the Summerside Juniors.
Click on the first thumbnail to see the line-up of PEI pro stars in the 1970's.