Friday, September 18, 2009

DU Alum Still Playing Hockey In His 70's

(above) DU Alum John MacMillan is still playing hockey at age 73

From: BC Local News.com
by James Clarke

DU Alum John MacMillan won two National Championships at the University of Denver ('58 & '60), was a part of two Stanley Cup winning teams in the NHL ('62 & '64) and in recent years has competed with his old DU teammates in the Snoopy Senior Hockey Tournaments during the summer. His biggest hockey accomplishment however, may be that he's still playing hockey at age 73.

There were a million stories in the big tourney, and one player who certainly characterized the spirit of last week’s World Classic oldtimers hockey tournament was former NHLer John MacMillan. The tournament took place on Victoria Island in British Columbia.

“It’s a beautiful place to come to play, plus I have a brother at the north end of the Island so I get to kill two birds with one stone,” MacMillan, aka Johnny Mac, said easily during our locker room interview prior to his team’s fourth game.

Johnny Mac and the Alberta Oil Sharks 70s team were 3-0 heading into the contest, which they won, and the players were upbeat and quick with the jokes, but all business as they suited up and went through their pre-game rituals.

Last Saturday Johnny Mac and the Sharks bounced the Victoria Blooze 7-1 for gold in their division.

“It’s a great facility, and Al’s done a real good job,” he said of tournament organizer Al Greir, and agreed the competition was very keen, as he cinched up his skates.

A two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Toronto Maple Leafs, this is his second appearance in the Classic — he and his teammates won their division at last year’s event. Born and raised in Alberta, he’s been a regular in the Oil Sharks lineup for a while now, and even though he has called Boise, Idaho home the past 25 years, when it comes to hockey, Johnny Mac said he’s an All-Canadian.

“For sure,” he grinned.

Will he be back, we asked?

“God willing, you bet,” he said, then turned his attention to his shoulder pads.

Johnny Mac at a glance:

According to legendsofhockey.net, right-winger John MacMillan played with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings in the 1960s.

He was best known as a dangerous scorer in college and a reliable two-way forward in the Western league.

Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, MacMillan excelled on the WCJHL’s Lethbridge Native Sons before attending the University of Denver. After scoring 30 goals in 1959-60 he was voted on to the WCHA second all-star team. In 1960-61, the young forward scored three goals and was a solid contributor on a checking line with Bob Pulford and Ron Stewart. He started the next season in the AHL but was recalled half way through the schedule to serve as a utility forward.

That spring MacMillan played three playoff games while helping Toronto win its first of three straight Stanley Cups.

MacMillan was primarily a farmhand the next year and fired 22 goals for the Rochester Americans of the AHL.

He played the first month of the 1963-64 season in Toronto before the Red Wings picked him up on waivers. He split the remainder of the schedule between the NHL and the AHL’s Pittsburgh Hornets then played four playoff games as the Wings reached the finals. After playing three games for Detroit the next season, MacMilllan was a regular in the minors until he retired in 1971. The tricky veteran played his last five pro seasons with the WHL’s San Diego Gulls.

2 comments:

puck swami said...

Great to see Johnny Mac Still bringin' it at 70+....

Aluuum said...

He was my engineering classmate. He was as fast a skater as any pioneer I've ever seen.