Former Nova Scotia Voyageur back in Halifax for Memorial Cup

Former Nova Scotia Voyageur back in Halifax for Memorial Cup

An NHL scout in town for the Memorial Cup knows Halifax particularly well, having suited up for the Nova Scotia Voyageurs between 1972 and 1975.

Peter Sullivan was a small, but lightning-fast centre with the Vees, an AHL farm team of the Montreal Canadiens.

"I had three great years here and I had a great coach in Al MacNeil," said Sullivan, from his perch high above the ice in the Scotiabank Centre press box. "I met my wife here and we're both back here now at the Memorial Cup and she's enjoying it as much as I am."

For the past 23 years, Sullivan has worked for NHL Central Scouting.

Drafted in 1971 by the Canadiens, Sullivan's pro career took awhile to get going due to thyroid cancer.

"I went down to 126 pounds and I missed a full year of hockey," said Sullivan. "Claude Ruel, who was the head scout for Montreal at that time, stuck with me and he got me back in training camp the following year."

Franchise record

Sullivan still holds the Voyageurs franchise record for most points in a single season with 104, a record he shares with Yvon Lambert.

But he could never crack the lineup of the Canadiens, which was loaded with star forwards, and Sullivan jumped ship to sign with the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association, where he played for six seasons.

The Jets were a powerhouse team and won three championships while Sullivan was on the team as he played along former NHL superstar Bobby Hull.

"Bobby was our leader both on and off the ice," said Sullivan. "We also had Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson and Ulf was the toughest player I've ever seen in hockey and I'm not talking about fighting, he took so much abuse and he never backed off of anybody."

For Sullivan's final two seasons on the team, the Jets played in the NHL, after the merger between the WHA and NHL in 1979.

Good athletic genes

Still going strong at the age of 67, Sullivan's father was also an excellent athlete.

Frank Sullivan played on Canada's gold-medal winning hockey team at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was also a football player with the Toronto Argonauts and won the Grey Cup in 1921.