Miracle Monday: Rob McClanahan

Miracle Monday

Welcome to another Monday! :) I always feel so much pressure when it comes to the guys that Miracle actually took the time to introduce. Is that weird? I mean, it's one thing to talk up a guy whose name you've never heard before, but Rob McClanahan? The dude whose Miracle alter-ego got into a fight with Jack O'Callahan? There are expectations attached to that! Luckily these guys make it easy for me, because they're so awesome that it's not hard to make them sound awesome. Anyway, I'll quit rambling now! Are you ready for some Rob McClanahan in your life?!

Rob McClanahan


+ Mac grew up playing hockey on a pond in walking distance from his house. He was the "crown jewel" of his uber-talented high school team; crazy fast, extremely high-scoring and competitive as all hell. (Steve Christoff played at a rival high school, and games between the two were often touted as Christoff vs. McClanahan.) Mac was the guy that attacked absolutely every situation 100%. He was super intense all the time, right down to his slight fanaticism about the maintenance of his equipment.

+ Herb recruited Mac to the University of Minnesota where, along with Christoff and Eric Strobel, he was a part of one of the deepest recruiting classes in school history. Despite the fact that he was widely believed to be the best two-way college hockey player in the country, Herb often put him in more defensive, checking, penalty-killing situations which sometimes limited his ability to rack up points (though he still scored 108 points in 121 career games). Herb also used him as a bit of a weapon. Mac was one of the fastest skaters on the team, and Herb would use him as the benchmark during skating drills. The other guys had to keep up with his pace, which was no small feat! :) And it obviously worked, too, as Mac and the Gophers won the NCAA championship in 1979. The Gophers twice voted him as most determined player, which I think kind of says something! He also happened to be extremely brilliant, as well as an incredibly motivating, supportive teammate.

+ After his junior year at Minnesota, Mac left school to join the Olympic team. He played on the first line with Mark Johnson and, in the pre-Olympic season, was the second leading scorer behind his linemate with 29 goals and 33 assists (62 points) in 55 games. He was often the brunt of locker room pranks because of his intensely serious nature; goofballs like Dave Christian and Neal Broten would (good-naturedly) mess with his equipment and give him standing ovations whenever he tried to say anything. :) Besides the fight with Jack O'Callahan (which actually didn't happen in real life), Miracle has ensured that Mac is probably best known for the incident with Herb in the locker room during the first game of the Olympics against Sweden; Mac had gotten hurt, Herb came in yelling about how he was being a pansy, and utter chaos ensued. Well, that did happen in real life, and by all accounts was significantly worse than Miracle showed. That incident cut really deep with Mac for a really long time, but it went a long way in motivating the team to get its collective ass in gear. They went on to tie Sweden in that game, and Mac ended up scoring five goals and three assists for eight points in seven games. Also, let's please take note that he scored the gold medal-winning goal! (Click that link and go watch it. For real. It's kind of EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.)

+ Mac had been drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 1978 and turned pro after the Olympics. He played for a season each with the Sabres and the Hartford Whalers before being acquired by the New York Rangers, where Herb was coaching. He joined Olympic teammates Bill Baker, Dave Silk and Mark Pavelich (sheesh, what a reunion!) and, as he had in the past, flourished under Herb's creative system of hockey. However, injuries got the better of him and, instead of spending more time in the minors, he decided to retire in 1984.

+ While playing for the Rangers, Mac worked two summers on Wall Street for Morgan Stanley (y'know, like one does. What, don't all hockey players work on Wall Street in their free time?). After his playing days ended, he got into the investment business and never looked back! He has, however, stayed involved in hockey -- he coaches his daughter's youth team and was one of the head coaches in the first ever All-American Prospects Game in 2012.

Is he not the greatest? Because I'm pretty sure he's the greatest.

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