Keith Magnuson (Saskatoon, SK) first came onto the hockey scene in Saskatchewan playing for the Saskatoon Blades in his 1964-65 season. Magnuson then went on to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for the University of Denver Pioneers, where he would lead the Pioneers to two NCAA championships in 1968 and 1969. During this time, Keith would be chosen as an WCHA First Team All-Star in 1966 and would receive the Most Outstanding Player at 1969 NCAA tournament.
Magnuson’s pro-career dream became a reality when he signed as a free agent with the Chicago Black Hawks in 69-70. Keith was best known for his leadership and his willingness to defend his teammates. During his NHL career, the former Chicago team captain played in 589 games and amassed 1,442 career penalty minutes, second most in team history. Throughout his Black Hawks career, Magnuson would be named team captain for the years 1976-79 and would play in the 1971 and 1972 NHL All Star games.
Following Keith’s playing career, his hockey career would continue as he went on to become an assistant coach, and eventually head coach, for the Black Hawks. After his coaching career, he would continue to remain close to the rink and association by establishing the Blackhawks Alumni Association, and making many appearances on behalf of the team.
The NHL Players Association would go on to honor Keith by creating the NHLPA Keith Magnuson ‘Man of the Year’ Award - an award given annually to former players who have “applied the intangibles of perseverance, commitment and teamwork developed through the game into a successful post career transition”. To add to Keith’s already impressive hockey resume, he would go on to be inducted in to the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014. In December of 2003, Magnuson tragically passed away in an automobile accident while returning from the funeral of former NHL player, Keith McCreary.