Skip to main content

John McLellan

John McLellan only a brief appearance on the ice in the National Hockey League, He had a long career in hockey, full of championship victories.

He starred with St. Mikes as a junior, winning a Memorial Cup championship in 1947.

He then graduated to play senior hockey with the Toronto Marlies, winning the Allan Cup in 1950.

McLellan turned pro for the 1950-51 season. He would play in the American Hockey League for eight seasons, winning the Calder Cup in 1952 and 1955.

Along the way McLellan was brought in his hometown Maple Leafs to appear in his only two NHL games.

McLellan retired in 1958 and regained his amateur status. He would play senior hockey with the Belleville McFarlands, scoring a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over Russia in the 1959 World Championships. Add a gold medal all those silver trophies he's won.

McLellan turned to the world of coaching and managing soon after. He gained quick success by coaching Tulsa to the Adams Cup as champions of the Central Hockey League.

McLellan finally made the NHL when the Leafs hired him as head coach for the 1969-70 season, replacing Punch Imlach. The Leafs missed the playoffs that first year, but led the Leafs to the post-season in each of the following two years, only to be eliminated in round one. The Hockey News even named McLellan as their coach of the year in 1971.

During the 1971-72 season McLellan  was actually hospitalized with ulcers. He would resign as coach in 1973, replaced by Red Kelly.

Coaching is not an easy profession by any means, though he kept a good attitude about it.

"Sure it's tough, but working in a gold mine is no picnic either," he said.

The Leafs retained McLellan as an assistant general manager, aiding Jim Gregory. He worked a lot with the prospects on the farm team in Oklahoma City and scouting the Leafs future opponents.

McLellan passed away in 1979, at the far too young age of 51. He had a massive heart attack while raking leaves.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M