NEWARK, N.J. -- Max McNab, who won the Stanley Cup as a
player with the Detroit Red Wings in 1950 and later served as the
general manager of two NHL teams in a nearly 50-year hockey career,
has died. He was 83.
McNab suffered a massive stroke in Las Vegas on Saturday and
died on Sunday, Peter McNab, his son and a former NHL player, said
in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
"Max McNab played and coached and managed in dozens of cities,
and he made friends for hockey in every one of them," NHL
commissioner Gary Bettman said. "The only emotion that exceeded
his pride in the game was the joy he derived from it. As a player,
as an executive, as the patriarch of an outstanding hockey family
and as an ambassador of our sport, Max McNab was a champion. The
NHL will miss him dearly."
Max McNab joined the Red Wings in 1948 and as a rookie centered
a line with Hall of Famers Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay. His
championship came two years later when the Red Wings won the
Stanley Cup in double overtime of Game 7 against the New York Rangers.
After a back injury shortened his playing career, McNab got his
first coaching job in 1952-53 with New Westminster of the WHL. He
later coached in the league at San Francisco and Vancouver before
becoming a coach-general manager for the San Diego Gulls.
McNab served two seasons as the president of the Central Hockey
League before returning to the NHL as the general manager of the
Washington Capitals from 1975-81. He joined the New Jersey Devils
as vice president of hockey operations the following season and
served as general manager from 1983-87. He served as executive vice
president from 1987-1994, when he retired.
"I have been blessed by being granted the opportunity to spend
48 years associated with the greatest game of all," the native of
Watson, Saskatchewan said when he retired.
McNab won the Lester Patrick Award in 1998 for outstanding
service to hockey in the United States.
Devils chief executive Lou Lamoriello said that McNab was a
gentleman who dedicated his entire life to his family and to the
game of hockey.
"The hockey world has lost a great friend," Lamoriello said.
McNab is survived by a sister, Islay, his wife, June, and three
sons -- Peter, David and Michael.
"I'm not going to enjoy hockey as much because I won't have Max
to talk to about the games and the stories," Peter McNab said.
"He just loved the hockey talk. He loved to talk about whatever
happened in a game. He made it fun to tell a story."
A memorial service is planned for Saturday afternoon at the
Mountain View Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas.