May 05, 2016

Paul MacDermid

Paul MacDermid was an average player in almost every way - average skater, average scorer, average creativity.

But Paul had two great attributes - tremendous balance on his skates and an insistent physical style of play. The two went hand in hand in his effective career where his consistent grinding and crunching along the boards often set the tone of a game.

Paul was a dogged forechecker who loved to crash and bang. His success was due to his willingness to do that dirty work and his great upper body strength. But just as important, was his balance. He was impossible to knock down. He'd go into battle in the corners, and would always remain upright. You could hit him but he would not go down.

Paul enjoyed a long career with Hartford and Winnipeg, before short stints with Washington and Quebec. Only once did he score 20 goals -1987-88 with the Whalers. But don't think he was not a valuable player just because goals and points were hard to come by. In Hartford particularly he was particularly important. His best years came on a checking unit with defensive specialists Dave Tippett and Doug Jarvis.

In Winnipeg he served an equally important role on a team that was based more on speed and skill. Thus his physical presence was even more appreciated.

Eventually the physical toll was too much for even MacDermid. He was forced into retirement prematurely due to a chronic back injury.

In 690 career NHL games Paul MacDermid scored 116 goals, 142 assists, 258 points and 1303 penalty minutes.

In retirement he returned to the family business of operating campgrounds near Sauble Beach, Ontario. He also was part of an ownership group of the OHL franchise in Cornwall.

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