John "Pie" McKenzie | Newer Post
Greatest Hockey Legends.com: John "Pie" McKenzie
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Greatest Hockey Legends.com
John "Pie" McKenzie
But don't forget John "Pie" McKenzie, the diminutive pest who was a real leader and fan favorite on that team.
was so popular that Boston fans bought 100s of bumper stickers that said "No matter how you slice it, Pie is the greatest."
Bostonians loved his
courageous physical presence and dogged defensive attention.
General Manager Milt Schmidt best summed up McKenzie
as the Bruins' "mood-setter."
McKenzie described his approach to hockey to writer Andy O'Brien once.
was a tough customer, as you might expect a true cowboy-on-skates from High River, Alberta to be.
loved two sports in life and excelled at them both - hockey and rodeo.
could rope a calf with the best of them at the annual Calgary Stampede, but it was hockey where this cowboy would leave his
It did not come quickly for the man known as Pie, a reference to his
facial similarities to a cartoon character named Pie Face.
bounced around the NHL with Chicago, New York and Detroit along with several stops in the minor leagues before catching on in Boston in 1966.
also saw second unit power play time in Boston, allowing him to become a regular 20+ goal scoring threat.
best season the 5'9", 180-pounder netted 31 goals and recorded 77 points in 1970-71, despite missing 13 games due to a shoulder separation that required an operation.
That wasn't the worst injury McKenzie had in his
had to have his
spleen removed in 1963, and in 1971 he
actually was playing with a cracked skull before doctors clued in and forced him off the ice.
was a nice piece of the Bruins' championship puzzle in both 1970 and 1972, but he
would leave the team shortly after the second Stanley Cup celebration.
left him unprotected in the next season's expansion draft.
was somehow not selected, he
felt very slighted by the Bruins' move and jumped at a $300,000 contract offer from the Worl Hockey Association
would join the Philadelphia Blazers
was hired to play and coachup for the second time in 1972 before moving on to the World Hockey Association
was hired to play and coach the Philadelphia Blazers
, where he
was reunited with Bruins' teammate Derek Sanderson.
After Philadelphia, McKenzie
had stints in Vancouver, Minnesota and Cincinnati before settling for his
final three seasons with the New England Whalers
where the familiar hero was treated like a legend.
In the end, his
No. 19 was retired.
In 691 career NHL games, McKenzie
scored 206 goals and added 268 assists for 474 points.
In 477 WHA games, he
netted 163 markers and contributed 250 helpers for 413 points.
has always stayed in the Boston area since retiring.
He first worked as a building supply salesman, helped to found a bank and for a long time sold BMWs.
In 2007 McKenzie
returned to the game of hockey in the most unlikely of locations.
volunteers as the head coach for the newly created college hockey team at Berklee College of Music
He also has worked as the liaison of hockey development for University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Posted byJoe Pelletier at12:43 am
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