April 28, 2015

Al Buchanan

Al Buchanan was a junior sensation out of Winnipeg, with strong Memorial Cup performances in 1945 and again in 1946 when he captained the Winnipeg Monarchs to Canada's junior championship.

When the speedster headed east to try out with the Toronto Maple Leafs by 1947, a couple of local scribes were so impressed with his initial training camp, declaring him to be as good a prospect as the Leafs had.

The Leafs were in the middle of a Stanley Cup dynasty at that time, winning the championship in 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951. It was not an easy time for a 5'8" and 160lb left winger to crack the Leafs roster that already included Joe Klukay, Harry Watson, Sid Smith and the Metz brothers Nick and Don.

As a result Al Buchanan would only get into a total of four NHL games over his career, collecting one lone assist. He played several years as a top performer with the senior league Toronto Marlboros and Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen, leading each to an Allan Cup championship (as Canada's amateur champion) in 1950 (Marlies) and 1953 (Dutchies).

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