Mickey MacKay

Duncan "Mickey" MacKay dazzled west coast audiences with his trademark blazing speed and unparalleled agility. One of the greatest rovers/centers of his time, history hasn't immortalized "The Wee Scot" quite like it has the man he was most often compared to - Cyclone Taylor

Born in Chelsey, Ontario, MacKay turned professional with the Vancouver Millionaires/Maroons of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association and later Western Canadian Hockey League. The PCHA/WCHL, which at the time was an equal league to the NHL, folded in 1926, paving MacKay's route to the National Hockey League.

MacKay headed west in 1912, first to play senior hockey in Edmonton and later Grand Forks, BC. By 1914 he signed with the Vancouver Millionaires, becoming an instant star. As a rookie he led the entire PCHA in scoring with 33 goals, 10 more than famous teammate "Cyclone" Taylor. The duo would lead Vancouver to the city's only Stanley Cup championship in 1915. Vancouver would launch other Stanley Cup bids, notably in 1918, but never came close to capturing the silver chalice again.

Unlike Taylor, a veteran MacKay did join the National Hockey League after the collapse of top-level pro hockey in western Canada. MacKay joined the Chicago Blackhawks for two seasons, 1926-27 and 1927-28. With 14 goals and 22 points he led Hawks in scoring in his first year, and finished second to another western Canadian hockey star, Dick Irvin, in his second year. MacKay would later skate for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Bruins in 1929. That year MacKay was able to taste Stanley Cup victory one last time as the Bruins defeated the New York Rangers to capture their first championship.

MacKay returned for one more year in Boston, though the veteran stopped playing late in the season and became an assistant coach to Art Ross for the remainder of the year and playoffs.

Soon after his playing days were over, MacKay returned to beautiful British Columbia where his heart had never left. Always a fan favorite in BC, he became heavily involved in mining in his post-hockey career. He also coached local hockey teams in his new home town of Grand Forks, BC.

Over the course of the two superstars' career in Vancouver, many arguments as to whether MacKay or Taylor was the better player. Lester Patrick, the father of west coast hockey and the man who lured MacKay to Vancouver, had the best view of MacKay's career and said the following in a May 31st, 1940 Canadian Press article:

"(MacKay) was perhaps the greatest center we ever had on the coast; an equal favorite with Fred (Cyclone) Taylor in the mind of the masses. I always held to the theory that Taylor was the best all-rounder, but many differed.

"MacKay was a great crowd pleaser. He was clean, splendidly courageous, a happy player with a stylish way of going. He was sensational in making quick breakaways. He was a sure shot alone with the goalie. He could handle his stick and was almost as good a hook-check as Frank Nighbor. MacKay was one of those who helped make pro hockey a great game. He was outstanding in every way."

Unfortunately that article was written as MacKay's memorial. The day before MacKay died after suffering a heart attack while behind the wheel of his car while driving through the tiny mining community of Ymir in British Columbia's Kootenay area. His car then crashed into a telephone pole. It is unclear which of the heart attack or the car crash was the official cause of death. He had just turned 46 years old.


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