Hockey Athlete / Builder - Inducted 2018
Doug Barkley was a fierce competitor and tenacious NHL defenseman whose playing career was cut short after he suffered an eye injury in 1966. Doug joined the Detroit Red Wings front office, coached their farm team, and was twice the team's Head Coach. Doug returned to Alberta, and from 1977 to 1980, was the General Manager of the Calgary Wranglers and the Calgary Canucks. From 1982 to 1987, Doug organized, directed, and taught hockey schools in conjunction with the Calgary Flames. From 1980 to 2001, Doug was the colour analyst for the Calgary Flames radio broadcasts.
Doug began his professional hockey career, as a player, in 1955 with the WCJHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers hockey team. In 1956 he played for the Calgary Stampeders in the old Western Hockey League. In 1957 he was signed by the Chicago Black Hawks and sent to play for their affiliate team, the AHL’s Buffalo Bisons. During the 1961/62 season, Doug set a league record for a defenseman with 25 goals and 49 assists for 74 points. He was a WHL All-Star Defenseman twice and was named the 1962 All-Star Game MVP.
Doug was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in 1962 and at the age of 26, had his first NHL success. He was a punishing defenseman with 382 penalty minutes and a good set-up man with 80 assists in 253 games. He went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1963 and 1964. During the 43rd game in his fourth season with the team, Doug suffered an eye injury that caused him to lose vision in his right eye. Doug’s playing days were over, but his love for hockey never ended. For the next 35 years, Doug became a true builder of the game of hockey as he embraced the roles of scout, coach, general manager, administrator, and broadcast analyst.
After his injury, Doug worked for the Detroit Red Wings front office and was Head Coach for their farm team, and then the NHL team. Doug returned to Alberta and from 1977 to 1980 was the General Manager of the Calgary Wranglers and part owner and manager of the Calgary Canucks. From 1982 to 1987, he organized, directed, and taught hockey schools in conjunction with the Calgary Flames. In 1980, Doug became a familiar voice to Calgary Flames fans when he became the colour commentator for game broadcasts on 66CFR radio, a role he held for 21 years. Doug also served on the Board of Directors for the AJHL Calgary Royals for 12 years and coached various junior hockey teams.
Doug was an amazing multisport athlete while growing up in Lethbridge and during his WHL days in Calgary as he also played football, fastball and golf. From 1957 to 1962, he played senior fastball with the Calgary Ralph Orioles. He won three league batting titles, and was the home run leader for four years. He was named Calgary’s Athlete of the Year in 1962 and was the recipient of the Scott-Mamini Memorial Trophy.
Doug was inducted into the Alberta Softball Hall of Fame in 1989 as a member of the Ralph Orioles Fastball Team, and the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame as a hockey athlete in 1989.