John McKenzie (ice hockey)

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John McKenzie
JohnMcKenzie.jpg
Born (1937-12-12) December 12, 1937 (age 76)
High River, AB, CAN
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for NHL
Chicago Black Hawks
Detroit Red Wings
New York Rangers
Boston Bruins
WHA
Philadelphia Blazers
Vancouver Blazers
Minnesota Fighting Saints
Cincinnati Stingers
New England Whalers
National team  Canada
Playing career 1958–1979

John Albert "Pie, Bronco" McKenzie (born December 12, 1937) is a Canadian former professional hockey player. He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for several seasons, most notably with the Boston Bruins where he was a member of two Stanley Cup championship teams. He also played several seasons in the World Hockey Association (WHA), where he was a player-coach. After his playing career ended in 1979, he continued as a hockey coach.

Playing career

McKenzie's teammates dubbed him "Pieface" for his resemblance to a cartoon figure of the same name featured on the wrapper of a popular Canadian candy bar, but within a few years the nickname evolved to "Pie." After three years in the junior leagues — for which he starred with the St. Catharines Teepees of the OHA and led the league in goals and points in 1958 — McKenzie made his NHL debut during the 1959 season with the Chicago Black Hawks.

The following season he moved on to the Detroit Red Wings, where he lasted two years. He was then demoted back to the minors, playing for most of three seasons in the American Hockey League with the Hershey Bears and the Buffalo Bisons, and was named to the league's First All-Star Team in 1963. He returned to the NHL again during the 1964 season, once again with the Black Hawks, and two years later played for the New York Rangers for part of the 1966 season, halfway during which he was traded to the Rangers' arch-rivals, the Boston Bruins.

He was an immediate impact player in Boston, and it was with the Bruins that the 5-foot-9-inch, 170 pound (77 kg) right wing had the most productive seasons of his career. He became a star in the 1968 season, scoring twenty-eight goals and gaining a reputation as a pesky, relentless hustler. He would score twenty-nine goals each of the next two seasons, and would win the accolade as Second Team All-Star in the 1970 season, when in the Stanley Cup playoffs he would score seventeen points in fourteen games, fourth on the team after Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and John Bucyk and a feat he would repeat in 1972. His best season statistically was the following year, when he scored thirty-one goals and 77 points in 65 games. All in all, McKenzie scored 169 goals in his seven years in Boston and helped the Bruins win two Stanley Cup titles, in 1970 and again in 1972.

A notorious incident took place immediately after the Bruins defeated the Rangers in six games in the Stanley Cup finals in the latter year (winning the clinching game on the Rangers' home ice at Madison Square Garden), McKenzie skated to center ice, raised one arm in a Statue of Liberty pose, placing his other hand around his neck, making a "choke" gesture (alluding to the fact that the result of the series had left the Rangers still looking for their first Stanley Cup championship since 1940), then jumping up and down in a circle several times. This became known as the "McKenzie Choke Dance," or simply the "choke dance."

Following the Bruins second Stanley Cup championship in 1972, McKenzie was disgruntled at being left unprotected in the expansion draft, and though the Bruins did not lose him, he signed as player-coach with the Philadelphia Blazers of the newly formed World Hockey Association (WHA). He continued to play effectively for the Blazers, the Minnesota Fighting Saints, the Cincinnati Stingers and finally the New England Whalers, and finished his career in the league's final season in 1979, having played in twenty-one major professional seasons.

Retirement

In 2007, McKenzie served as the coach of the Berklee Ice Cats, the newly formed hockey team at Berklee College of Music in Boston.1 Following that, he was the liaison for hockey development at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is currently retired.

Career achievements and facts

  • Played in 691 NHL games, totalling 206 goals, 268 assists and 917 penalty minutes
  • Played in 477 WHA games (7th all-time), totalling 163 goals, 250 assists and 413 points (16th all-time)
  • Played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1970 and 1972
  • Played in the Summit Series for Team Canada in 1974 against the Soviet Union
  • His #19 was retired by the Hartford Whalers, making him — unusually — one of only three players whose number was retired by an NHL franchise for which he never actually played (the other two being J. C. Tremblay by the Quebec Nordiques and Frank Finnigan by the modern-day Ottawa Senators). It was widely believed at the time, since McKenzie's contributions to the WHA Whalers were modest, that the honor was a public relations sop to the Boston Bruins' fan base for which Whalers management was competing.
  • In 2010, he was elected as an inaugural inductee into the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame in the “Legends of the Game” category.2

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1955–56 Calgary Stampeders WHL 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 1 2
1956–57 St. Catharines Teepees OHA 52 32 38 70 0
1957–58 St. Catharines Teepees OHA 52 48 51 99 0
1958–59 Calgary Stampeders WHL 13 2 5 7 18
1958–59 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 32 3 4 7 22 2 0 0 0 2
1959–60 Detroit Red Wings NHL 59 8 12 20 50 2 0 0 0 0
1960–61 Detroit Red Wings NHL 16 3 1 4 13
1960–61 Hershey Bears AHL 47 19 23 42 84 8 3 6 9 10
1961–62 Hershey Bears AHL 58 30 29 59 149 7 1 2 3 19
1962–63 Buffalo Bisons AHL 71 35 46 81 122 13 8 12 20 28
1963–64 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 45 9 9 18 50 4 0 1 1 6
1964–65 St. Louis Braves CHL 5 5 4 9 17
1964–65 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 51 8 10 18 46 11 0 1 1 6
1965–66 New York Rangers NHL 35 6 5 11 36
1965–66 Boston Bruins NHL 36 13 9 22 36
1966–67 Boston Bruins NHL 69 17 19 36 98
1967–68 Boston Bruins NHL 74 28 38 66 107 4 1 1 2 8
1968–69 Boston Bruins NHL 60 29 27 56 99 10 2 2 4 17
1969–70 Boston Bruins NHL 72 29 41 70 114 14 5 12 17 35
1970–71 Boston Bruins NHL 65 31 46 77 120 7 2 3 5 22
1971–72 Boston Bruins NHL 77 22 47 69 126 15 5 12 17 37
1972–73 Philadelphia Blazers WHA 60 28 50 78 157 4 3 1 4 8
1973–74 Vancouver Blazers WHA 45 14 38 52 71
1974–75 Vancouver Blazers WHA 74 23 37 60 84
1975–76 Minnesota Fighting Saints WHA 57 21 26 47 52
1975–76 Cincinnati Stingers WHA 12 3 10 13 6
1976–77 Minnesota Fighting Saints WHA 40 17 13 30 42
1976–77 New England Whalers WHA 34 11 19 30 25 5 2 1 3 8
1977–78 New England Whalers WHA 79 27 29 56 61 14 6 6 12 16
1978–79 New England Whalers WHA 76 19 28 47 115 10 3 7 10 10
NHL totals 691 206 268 474 917 69 15 32 47 133

Coaching record

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
Philadelphia Blazers 1972-73 7 1 6 0 (2) 3rd in WHA East (resigned)
Vancouver Blazers 1973-74 7 3 4 0 (6) 5th in WHA West (interim coach)

References

  1. ^ Donna O’Neil (March 28, 2007). "Former Bruins forward Johnny McKenzie teaches musicians the game of hockey". Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ WHA Hall of Fame Members

External links








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