Rob McClanahan on a Paraguayan stamp.
January 9, 1958 |
Saint Paul, MN, USA
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)|
|Played for||Buffalo Sabres
New York Rangers
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||49th overall, 1978
|Men's ice hockey|
|Competitor for the United States|
|Gold||1980 Lake Placid||Team competition|
Robert Bruce McClanahan (born January 9, 1958 in Saint Paul, Minnesota) is a former American professional ice hockey player who played 224 games in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres, Hartford Whalers and New York Rangers between 1980 and 1983. However, he is best known for being a member of the U.S. hockey team in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The team played in what came to be known as the "Miracle on Ice" game, beating 1:33 odds in a 4-3 victory over the previously undefeated USSR.1
McClanahan attended Mounds View High School and went on to play three seasons with the University of Minnesota, winning the 1979 NCAA national ice hockey championship. After representing the U.S. at the 1979 Ice Hockey World Championship tournament in Moscow, McClanahan joined the U.S. Olympic team on a full-time basis and scored 34 goals in 63 exhibition games. The culmination of McClanahan's amateur career came at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York when he scored five goals in seven games while helping his country win the gold medal. He scored the winning goal in the gold medal game against Finland (which the U.S. came back to win 4-2) two days after the historic American victory over the Soviets.
During the opening game of the Olympic tournament against Sweden, McClanahan sustained a bruise on the upper thigh, which left the U.S. team short another player, as teammate Jack O'Callahan had been injured during the exhibition game against the Soviet Union only three days prior to the Olympics. A famed argument between McClanahan and Team USA's coach Herb Brooks helped motivate McClanahan to play through his injury and inspire his team to a come-from-behind draw against Sweden that was vital to the team's gold medal success later in the tournament.
McClanahan was selected forty-ninth overall in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres but did not begin playing with the Sabres until 1980, shortly after the Olympics. His NHL career was comparatively short-lived as he was mostly used as a role player. He bounced between the NHL and the American Hockey League and played part of the 1983/1984 season in the Central Hockey League with the Tulsa Oilers2 before finishing his NHL career under his old Olympic coach Herb Brooks with the New York Rangers in 1984 (he also represented the Hartford Whalers in 1981-82). During his professional career, McClanahan also was a member of Team USA at the 1981 Canada Cup.
McClanahan became a financial broker after retirement, beginning his career with Morgan Stanley in 1985, then working for Bear Stearns and Piper Jaffray, where he was managing director. He joined the Minneapolis office of ThinkEquity Partners in March 2002 as Principal and became the company's Head of Trading.
McClanahan was played by Nathan West in the 2004 Disney movie Miracle, which starred actor Kurt Russell as coach Herb Brooks and which told the story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal win. West had been a goalie for the junior hockey team the Plymouth Whalers in the Ontario Hockey League and has a tattoo of the National Hockey League logo on his arm.3
In a 1981 TV movie about the same subject called Miracle on Ice, McClanahan is portrayed by Ken Stovitz.
- "Sporting Upsets from the World of Horse Racing, Football and more".
- Nathan West biography at the Internet Movie Database
- Rob McClanahan's biography at Legends of Hockey
- Hockeydraftcentral bio
- Rob McClanahan's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database