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11-06-2009, 08:50 AM
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F Bruce MacGregor

Joe Pelletier:
In the 1960s and early 1970s speedy Bruce MacGregor was so fast he was nicknamed "The Redheaded Rocket.

MacGregor was a slick and speedy forward who was a coach's dream. He was never an outstanding scorer, topping 20 goals only three times in his 13 year career, but he would do anything the coaches needed him to do, and with great proficiency. Using his incredible acceleration and his equally impressive hockey sense, he was a great utility player, filling in admirably wherever and whenever the team asked him to. He was also a mainstay on the penalty kill unit.
MacGregor scored 20 goals in three consecutive seasons for Detroit pre-expansion. In the first two of these seasons he played with various linemates, including veterans Ted Lindsay and Andy Bathgate, Paul Henderson, and various undrafted players. In 1966-67 he joined Henderson and Norm Ullman on the HUM line, and his 28 goals were good for fourth in the league. McGregor was in the top 10 for even strength goals in both 64-65 and 66-67. His scoring dropped off after this but remained consistent, as he scored at least 14 goals in the next seven seasons.

He was sixth in Lady Byng voting in 1964-65 - all other players in the top 10 have been drafted.

Later in MacGregor's career, his coach gave him a major responsibility against the Canadiens in the playoffs
It all started shortly before Game Four with a private meeting between XXX XXXXX, the scrappy chancellor of the Rangers' exchequer, and the man they call Murdoch. The 33-year-old MacGregor is a quiet redhead who has skated in obscurity through most of his 13 NHL seasons. As he suspected, XXX wanted to discuss Yvan Cournoyer, the Montreal Roadrunner, who had deflated the Rangers in Games Two and Three by scoring five goals.

"XXX said we had to contain Cournoyer, or else," MacGregor says. "He asked if I'd switch from right wing to left wing, forget all about my own offense and think only about shadowing Cournoyer. He told me that if I could keep Cournoyer off his game even a little bit, then things might fall into place for us."

While MacGregor admittedly cannot skate as fast as Cournoyer—who can?—he accepted the assignment. "I had never played head to head against Cournoyer," MacGregor says, "but I knew his game. He plays the percentages. He likes to sneak between or behind the defense and get a long lead pass from Jacques Lemaire or one of the defensemen. My job, as I saw it, was to stay between Cournoyer and [Ranger Goaltender] Eddie Giacomin. I had to be the middleman at all times. I knew if Cournoyer got between Giacomin and me on a breakaway, it probably would be curtains. There's no way I'd ever catch him in a race. It would be worse than the tortoise and the hare."
MacGregor had great success with his assignment.
In three games MacGregor had out-shot Cournoyer nine to five and out-scored him four to nothing, leaving Bowman with a strange look on his face. "I didn't think New York had anyone who could slow Yvan down," he said. "I thought XXX XXX was the only New York player who could skate with him, and they traded XXX to Los Angeles. That MacGregor, he's pretty smart."
MacGregor jumped to Edmonton in the WHA after those playoffs, having priced himself out of New York. He was selected to Team Canada's 1974 WHA Summit Series Roster, and played two years in Edmonton before retiring.

MacGregor is listed as a center at the hhof website, played right wing on the HUM line, and switched to left wing to check Cournoyer. His versatility, scoring ability, and defensive skill will make him a valuable spare for the Renfrew Millionaires.

Last edited by overpass: 11-06-2009 at 10:50 AM.
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