Jack O’Callahan is best known for his time before playing with the Blackhawks. O’Callahan grew up in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He went to Boston Latin High School. O’Callahan was a great student and hockey player in high school,and he was even accepted to Harvard. “The headmaster of Boston Latin tried to explain to him that you didn’t say no to Harvard” (Wayne Coffey Boys of Winter pg 69). O’Callahan would do what headmaster said not to do,and he would attend Boston University.
O’Callahan would play three seasons for Boston University,while there he was named to the ECAC first team in 1977. That season earned him the attention of the Chicago Blackhawks who drafted him in the AHL amateur draft. In his second season He helped Boston University win the National Championship in 1978, and during that 1978 season, he was named the Most Valuable player of the tournament. Jack Parker BU head coach would describe O’Callahan as, “He was the kind of guy who could hang with President of the United States or the Hell’s Angels” (Wayne Coffey Boys of Winter pg 69). These qualities would get O’Callahan the attention of USA Hockey.
During the 1979 season O’Callahan was named to the US national team. The 1979 US team finished 8th at the World Championships. O’Callahan would not play his senior year with Boston University,but he was chosen by Coach Herb Brooks to represent the US in the Olympics. O’Callahan was injured before the Olympics in a game with the vaunted Soviets. O’Callahan would return during the medal round of the 1980 tournament in Lake Placid. He would help the US team defeat the “Greatest Hockey team Ever” in the Soviets. The US would defeat Finland to win the Goal medal, while the 1980 US Soviets game would be known as the “Miracle on Ice”.
After reaching the pinnacle of Olympic Hockey, O’Callahan would begin his Blackhawks career. He began his career with the New Brunswick Hawks of the AHL, and during his second season with the New Brunswick Hawks, O’Callahan would help lead them to the 1982 Calder Cup. He would be called up in 1982-83 and play in 5 playoffs games that season, and O’Callahan would help the Blackhawks reach the semifinals again in 1985.
In 1987 O’Callahan was placed on waivers by the Blackhawks. He was claimed by the New Jersey Devils. He played two more seasons in the NHL, before finishing off his hockey career with the US national team. The US team would finish sixth in the 1989 World Championships (legendsofhockey.net).
O’Callahan and the Blackhawks did not end their relationship on bad terms. He is an active member of the Blackhawks alumni organization.
What are your memories of O’Callahan?
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