MacLeish in 1973
January 3, 1950 |
Cannington, ON, CAN
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Played for||Philadelphia Flyers
Detroit Red Wings
|NHL Draft||4th overall, 1970
Richard George MacLeish (born January 3, 1950) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey forward who played 14 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Philadelphia Flyers, Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Detroit Red Wings. He played 12 seasons in Philadelphia, winning two Stanley Cups with the Flyers in 1974 and 1975.
MacLeish was drafted 4th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft after playing the majority of his junior career with the Peterborough Petes. After spending the first half of his first professional season with the Oklahoma City Blazers, MacLeish was involved in a three-way deal which sent him, Bruce Gamble, Dan Schock, and a 1st round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers, Bernie Parent and a 2nd round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Mike Walton to Boston. MacLeish spent the rest of the 1970–71 season with the Flyers, scoring two goals and four assists in 26 games. He also added a goal in four playoff games. In the 1971–72 season he saw his output drop considerably, to just a single goal, and consequently split the year between the Flyers and their AHL affiliate, the Richmond Robins.
The 1972-73 season proved to be a breakout year for Macleish, as he became the first member of the Flyers to ever score 50 goals in a single campaign. He added fifty assists this year, to bring his points total to 100. This was enough to finish fourth in league scoring, only a single point behind Bobby Orr. In the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Flyers won their first playoff series against the Minnesota North Stars and faced the heavily favored Montreal Canadiens in the semi final round. Macleish and the Flyers stunned the Canadiens winning the opening game in Montreal when the Flyer's center intercepted an errant Frank Mahovlich pass (Mahovlich lost the puck in a legendary "puddle of water" on the ice) and scored in overtime. The Flyers pushed the Canadians into overtime in game 2 as well but would lose 4-3 and would eventually lose the series 4 games to one.
In the 1973-74 Macleish's regular season scoring dropped slightly, as he scored 32 goals and added 45 assists. In the playoffs, however, he led all scorers with 13 goals and 9 assists as the Flyers claimed their first ever Stanley Cup. He scored the only goal in the series' sixth and final game, and narrowly missed out on winning the Conn Smythe Trophy to his teammate Bernie Parent.
After another successful regular season in 1974-75, notching 38 goals and 41 assists Macleish went on to lead his team again in playoff scoring as they won a second consecutive championship. This championship marked the last time the trophy was raised by a team consisting of only Canadian born players.
Macleish's 1975-76 season was marred by injury as he only played in 51 games. He manages to accumulate 22 goals and 23 assists in the regular season, but was unable to play in the playoffs which saw the Flyers swept in four games by the Montreal Canadiens.
The following year saw Macleish lead the Flyers in scoring for the first time in his career, tallying 49 goals and 48 assists. It also was the first year in which he earned an invitation to the all star game, a feat he would duplicate in the following year.
His skating and playing style was influenced by years of "river skating" where he developed his smooth, long striding speed. Macleish depended on a whipping and accurate wrist shot for the majority of his goals and was the Flyer's first, pure goal scoring "sniper". His often used scoring move involved carrying the puck over the blue line, quickly darting to the left and then wrist shooting the puck back to the right against the goaltender. In a game against the Los Angeles Kings in April 1978, Macleish narrowly avoided serious injury suffering a cut neck requiring 80 stitches when he slid into the skate of center Marcel Dionne. Several days later, he was back in the lineup. He joked later that he smoked a cigarette in the locker room afterward and smoke came out his throat.
In retirement, Macleish enjoys his passion for owning racehorses. In the early 2000s, he suffered a heart attack during a Flyers Alumni game and had cardiac bypass surgery the next day. Macleish also suffers from diabetes.
|1970–71||Oklahoma City Blazers||CHL||46||13||15||28||93||—||—||—||—||—|
|1983–84||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||25||2||8||10||4||1||0||0||0||0|
- Dinger |2011 |p=150
- "The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive". Retrieved 2013-12-27.
- "NHL Player Search - Player - Rick MacLeish". Legends of Hockey. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
- Weekes, Don, The Big Book of Hockey Trivia, Greystone Books, p. 558
- "Reading Eagle - Google News Archive". Retrieved 2013-12-27.
- Career statistics and player information from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database
|Boston Bruins first round draft pick
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