Duncan MacPherson

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Duncan MacPherson
Duncan macpherson.jpg
A passport photograph of MacPherson, taken a few weeks before his death.
Born (1966-02-03)February 3, 1966
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died August 9, 1989(1989-08-09) (aged 23)
Stubai Glacier Resort, Austria
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Defenceman
Shot Left
Played for Springfield Indians
Indianapolis Ice
NHL Draft 20th overall, 1984
New York Islanders
Playing career 1986–1989

Duncan Alvin MacPherson (February 3, 1966 – August 9, 1989) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who died under mysterious circumstances during a ski trip in Austria.

Early life and career[edit]

MacPherson was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. A standout defensive defenceman for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League, he was drafted in the first round, 20th overall, of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders. He played minor league hockey for the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League and the Indianapolis Ice of the International Hockey League.


In the summer of 1989, MacPherson went to Europe. The New York Islanders had bought out and released the often injured MacPherson,[1] who never made it to the NHL.[2] MacPherson had intentions of taking a job as a player-coach for a semi-pro hockey team in Dundee, Scotland, commencing in August 1989. Despite having a bad feeling about the entrepreneur Ron Dixon who was backing the Scottish team,[2] he travelled to central Europe alone in early August 1989. The plan was to visit old friends and see the sights before going on to Scotland.

He was scheduled to arrive in Dundee on August 12. When he did not show up, his family went to look for him. A car he had borrowed from a friend was discovered six weeks later in the parking lot of the Stubaital ski-region resort at the foot of the Stubai Glaciers in the Stubai Alps in Austria, where he had rented a snowboard. His last known contact was with an employee of the ski resort on August 9, who reported that he spoke with MacPherson, and last saw MacPherson departing alone to perhaps squeeze in some final snowboarding and hiking before nightfall.[2]

Adding drama to the mystery was the fact that MacPherson claimed he had been contacted by the CIA, and that they were interested in recruiting him as a spy. The story was never confirmed.[1]

In 2003, 14 years after MacPherson disappeared, an employee of the Stubai Glacier Resort discovered a glove sticking out of the ice of the melting Schaufelferner Glacier (one of the Stubai Glaciers' arms), in the middle of the ski run, where MacPherson's body had lain frozen.[3]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1982–83 Battleford Barons SJHL 59 6 11 17 215
1982–83 Saskatoon Blades WHL 5 2 4 6 16 2 0 0 0 0
1983–84 Saskatoon Blades WHL 45 0 14 14 74
1984–85 Saskatoon Blades WHL 69 9 26 35 116 3 0 0 0 4
1985–86 Saskatoon Blades WHL 70 10 54 64 147 13 3 8 11 38
1986–87 Springfield Indians AHL 26 1 0 1 86
1987–88 Springfield Indians AHL 74 5 14 19 213
1988–89 Springfield Indians AHL 24 1 5 6 69
1988–89 Indianapolis Ice IHL 33 1 4 5 23
WHL totals 189 21 98 119 353 18 3 8 11 42
AHL totals 124 7 19 26 368

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Duncan MacPherson profile". Hockey Draft Central. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
  2. ^ a b c Jones, Chris (2004-12-31). "The man in the ice". Esquire. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
  3. ^ "Iceman". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved 2010-09-02.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by New York Islanders first round draft pick
Succeeded by