Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Tribute: Keith Magnuson

By Josh Brink
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Chicago Blackhawks Keith Magnuson’s Retired #3 Jersey (Photo compliments of chicagoblackhawks.nhl.com)

Keith Magnuson or “Maggie” for short was an exceptional person who put everyone before himself, both on and off the ice. He stood in as the team’s enforcer/defender and later in his career captained the team. Among the fans he is beloved and sadly missed. Yesterday, December 15 marked the 11 anniversary of when the Chicago Blackhawks family lost one of their own, Keith Magnuson. He was taken from us too soon as a result of an auto accident where a good friend of his, Rob Ramage got behind the wheel while he was impaired and caused the deadly accident while driving the two of them. Maggie is not forgotten because his legacy continues to live on and that is why I would like to share a tribute to the great person he was.

Keith Magnuson started out playing hockey in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and attended the University of Denver where he became a two time All-American and NCAA Hockey Champion. He attended the University of Denver along with childhood friend, Cliff Koroll, who lured Magnuson to attend there with him. Eventually the two ended up on the same team after college in 1969 after Magnuson signed as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks. This was something that didn’t happen very often during that time because most of the players that played in the league made it there through the junior hockey system, not college ranks.

Keith Magnuson was a great defensive defenseman but he knew he would not make it in the league with defense alone. Since he was not much of a shooter he focused on being the tough guy on the team. This led to his league-high 213 penalty minutes during his rookie campaign with the Blackhawks. No matter the size or skill he would fight anyone on the other team if he had to; he would defend anyone who wore that Indian head sweater. There are countless stories about how he put everything on the line with determination and heart, which made him who he was to the organization, teammates, and fans.

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