Chicago Blackhawks Greatest 100- #14 Keith Magnuson

1973: Keith Magnuson
1973: Keith Magnuson /

Most of the time you look up great players by their stat line or accomplishment, but today’s great was sensational because he was the ultimate leader. 

If you look at the stat line for Keith Magnuson, there is no way he even makes the conversation for Top 100 Chicago Blackhawk!

The thing is you can’t judge #3 by what he added to the scoresheet, but you can tell how great of a player he was by what the opponent didn’t get to put on the scoresheet.

After playing at the University of Denver, Magnuson never spent one day in the minors, while making the Chicago Blackhawks roster at the age of 22 in 1969.

The Chicago Blackhawks would go from worst to first thanks in large part to the additions of two players whose jersey numbers would end up in the rafters.  Magnuson number 3 and Tony Esposito‘s #35.

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The story of any player that played in the early 70’s isn’t complete without noting that the Blackhawks really choked away the 1971 Stanley Cup to the Montreal Canadiens.  It really is one of the worst defeats the city and franchise has ever taken.

Magnuson never shied away from a fight and if you google his name there are tons of classic pictures of him bloodied after a fight. He was the definition of a brick wall in front of his goalie and he would fight anybody that wanted to throw the gloves down. In his second season he led the NHL in penalty minutes with 291.

Magnuson didn’t excel at anything really on the ice, but he knew how to defend his own goal which is why everyone loved the guy.  You can’t find an article out there about him where anything bad was ever said about him.  He just was a natural leader. Magnuson was the Blackhawks Captain from 1976-1979.

Magnuson only scored 14 career goals and 3 playoff career goals, but his plus/minus was a +170 which proves his worth on the blue line. After retiring from the NHL, Magnuson coached the Blackhawks for 3 seasons before Bob Pulford did his usual take over the team trick.

Sadly, Magnuson passed away at the age of 56 after dying in a car crash.  His #3 was retired for both him and Pierre Pilote and hangs in the United Center permanently.

Magnuson was a great Blackhawks that everyone that witnessed him play misses!

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