I got word that In the Game is going to be releasing a set completely comprised of hockey’s best enforcers. Each box will have five autographed cards of some of the best in the business and two game used cards. I don’t know the price point, but I am thinking it is going to be in the $99 MSRP area. To celebrate this upcoming release I am going to be doing stories about hockey’s greatest enforcers. There are many to chose from and although I could start out with Tiger Williams or Dave Schultz, two of the greatest of all time I thought it would be awesome to start with a lesser known guy (outside of Chicago), Keith Magnuson.
Magnuson more than likely holds the record for fewest goals scored by anyone who ever had their jersey number retired. Considered one of Chicago’s greatest players (and that holds some weight) he scored 14 goals and 125 assists for 139 career points over the course of 11 seasons. The glaring stat for him was his career 1,442 career penalty minutes. If you wore a Blackhawks jersey in the 70s he had your back and even though he stood just 6’0″ and 185 pounds, he was considered one of the toughest men in hockey history. He was the enforcer of some great Blackhawk teams of the 70s. He even served as team captain for a few years.
Never one to back away from a fight, many of those 1442 penalty minutes were five for fighting. Unfortunately Magnuson’s life was cut short as a victim of drunk driving. The driver Rob Ramage (also a solid hockey player in his own right) was sentenced to four years in prison, which at the time was the stiffest drunk driving conviction in Ontario history. He is also the uncle of current Blue Jay prospect Tristan Magnuson, which for me was crazy when I think about it because my dad and I spoke with his dad (Keith’s brother) and jokingly asked why Tristan turned to baseball instead of hockey since he was from Canada. Upon reflection now I feel like the biggest idiot for bringing something like that up to Keith’s brother.
His autograph is going to run you some bucks on eBay, most hover in the $75 – 150 region. Definitely a card or autograph worth picking up for your personal hockey card collection. He will always be known as one of the best enforcers in hockey history.