Connie Madigan must have doubted that he would ever play in the NHL. After playing junior hockey with his hometown Port Arthur Bruins, he embarked on a hockey odyssey that took him to Penticton, Vernon, Nelson, Spokane, Fort Wayne, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Providence, Portland, and Dallas before he got his big break in 1973 at the age of 38?the oldest rookie ever to play in the NHL?with St. Louis.
In fact, his coach, Jean-Guy Talbot, was only two years older than Madigan and had been retired for two seasons after a 16-year career. Some of his St.Louis Blues teammates had not been born when Madigan began his professional hockey career. Nonetheless, he was ecstatic to get the opportunity to play.
It is important to remember that St.Louis had entered the NHL in 1967 using the last legs of veteran stars like Glen Hall, Doug Harvey, and Dickie Moore to build a foundation. But a 38-year old rookie? Why not? The Blues had defensemen Brent Hughes and Bob McCord out with injuries, and the veteran Madigan's experience couldn't hurt the team. He played in 20 NHL games during 1972-73, providing solid if unspectacular defense, but by September 1973, Connie Madigan was sold to Portland of the Western Hockey League.
Madigan had played nine seasons with Portland's Buckaroos, and he finished his career playing parts of two more seasons in Oregon