Keith Magnuson

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Keith Magnuson
Keith Magnuson 1973.jpg
Magnuson in 1973
Born (1947-04-27)April 27, 1947
Saskatoon, SK, CAN
Died December 15, 2003(2003-12-15) (aged 56)
Vaughan, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for Chicago Black Hawks
Playing career 1969–1979

Keith Arlen Magnuson (April 27, 1947 – December 15, 2003) was a professional ice hockey defenceman from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) between 1969 and 1979. Magnuson was killed in an auto accident in Vaughan, Ontario with fellow NHL alumnus Rob Ramage behind the wheel (Ramage survived the accident, but was later found guilty of impaired driving causing death).

Magnuson played 589 career NHL games, all with the Chicago Black Hawks, wearing # 3, and scoring 14 goals and 125 assists for 139 points. Although he didn't score many goals, he was a part of a solid defensive team with the Blackhawks. Perhaps his most telling statistic is his 1,442 career penalty minutes, which included a large number of fighting majors. For a few seasons, Magnuson was captain of the Chicago Black Hawks team. In April 1970, he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.[1] In 1971 and 1972, Magnuson played in the National Hockey League All-Star Game. He never played for a Stanley Cup winner, losing in the finals twice in 1971 and 1973 both to the Montreal Canadiens. Prior to his NHL career, Magnuson was a two time All-American at the University of Denver, who led his team to two consecutive NCAA titles in 1968 and 1969.

Magnuson was the great uncle to Major League Baseball pitcher Trystan Magnuson and Uncle to former Canadian Football League player, Quinn Magnuson.


On December 15, 2003, Rob Ramage was driving Magnuson to an NHLPA players' alumni meeting when his rented Chrysler Intrepid swerved into the oncoming lane and collided with another vehicle, killing Magnuson and injuring the driver of the other vehicle. Ramage was charged with impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death. Defense lawyer Brian Greenspan claimed the blood and urine tests were flawed, and the smell of alcohol came from beer cans that exploded after the crash.[2]

On October 10, 2007, Ramage was found guilty on all counts. The Magnuson family had forgiven Ramage and urged the judge not to send him to prison, instead suggesting that Ramage speak to teens about the dangers of drinking and driving.[2] On December 3, 2007, in a Missouri civil suit, Ramage and National Car Rental of Canada were found liable for the death of Magnuson. The family of Magnuson was awarded $9.5 million.[2] On January 17, 2008, Ramage was sentenced to four years in prison. Legal experts described the sentence as the harshest ever handed out in Ontario to a motorist with no previous record for drinking and driving. Ramage remained free on bail until his appeal of the sentence was denied on July 12, 2010.[3]

On November 12, 2008, the Chicago Blackhawks retired Magnuson's number 3, along with that of Hall of Fame defenceman Pierre Pilote, before a game against the Boston Bruins.

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Played in 1971 and 1972 NHL All-Star Game
Award Year
All-WCHA First Team 1966–67
All-WCHA First Team 1967–68
AHCA West All-American 1967–68
All-NCAA All-Tournament First Team 1968 [4]
All-WCHA First Team 1968–69
AHCA West All-American 1968–69
All-NCAA All-Tournament First Team 1969 [4]

Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Division rank Result
CHI 1980–81 80 31 33 16 78 2nd in Smythe Lost in first round
CHI 1981–82 52 18 24 10 46 4th in Norris Fired
Total 132 49 57 26 124


External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Keith Christiansen
WCHA Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Murray McLachlan
Preceded by
Gerry Powers
NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player
Succeeded by
Dan Lodboa
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Pit Martin
Stan Mikita
Chicago Blackhawks captain
Succeeded by
Terry Ruskowski
Preceded by
Eddie Johnston
Head coach of the Chicago Black Hawks
Succeeded by
Bob Pulford