Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Al MacNeil
Defenseman Al MacNeil played over 500 NHL games in the 50s and 60s. He was capable of taking the body in his own end and was fairly effective at passing the puck ahead to his forwards.

Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, MacNeil was a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect and played three years with the junior Marlboros. During his first four pro seasons he was mostly used as a injury replacement while seeing full time duty with the Rochester Americans of the AHL. The one exception was his 53-game tenure on the Toronto blueline in 1953-54.

In June, 1960, MacNeil was traded to the Montreal Canadiens who assigned him to the EPHL's Hull-Ottawa Canadiens for the entire 1960-61 schedule. The next season he played 61 games and provided grit and steady play in his own end for the Habs. With youngsters like Jacques Laperriere waiting in the wings, Montreal opted to send MacNeil to the Chicago Black Hawks in May, 1962. He went on to enjoy the finest stretch of his career as a regular for the next four years on one of the top clubs in the league.

In June 1966 he was claimed by the Habs then the Rangers in the Intra-League Draft. He played steadily in 58 games for the Blueshirts and helped them reach the post-season for the first time since 1962. The next summer the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Expansion Draft sought MacNeil's experience. He played 74 games for the first year club then spent two years in the minors before retiring in 1970.

After retiring as a player, MacNeil succeeded Claude Ruel as coach of the Montreal Canadiens 23 games into the 1970-71. He led them to a strong finish and an upset of the Boston Bruins in the quarterfinals on the way to the Stanley Cup. Unrest in the dressing room cost MacNeil a chance to return in 1971-72. He resurfaced as coach of the Atlanta Flames in 1979-80 and remained with the franchise when it relocated to Calgary. During his first year in western Canada, MacNeil led the Flames to an appearance in t semifinals but he was fired after the team finished below .500 in 1981-82.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1951-52 Sydney Academy High-NS
1952-53 Weston Dukes OHA-B
1953-54 Toronto Marlboros OHA-Jr. 59 3 12 15 112 15 2 3 5 18
1954-55 Toronto Marlboros OHA-Jr. 47 3 16 19 141 13 0 4 4 37
1954-55 Toronto Marlboros M-Cup 11 2 3 5 17
1955-56 Toronto Marlboros OHA-Jr. 48 9 12 21 58 11 0 5 5 63
1955-56 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 1 0 0 0 2
1955-56 Toronto Marlboros M-Cup 13 3 6 9 28
1956-57 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 53 4 8 12 84
1956-57 Rochester Americans AHL 13 0 4 4 35
1957-58 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 13 0 0 0 9
1957-58 Rochester Americans AHL 54 3 18 21 91
1958-59 Rochester Americans AHL 69 4 13 17 119 5 1 1 2 17
1959-60 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 4 0 0 0 2
1959-60 Rochester Americans AHL 49 4 16 20 44 12 1 2 3 12
1960-61 Hull-Ottawa Canadiens EPHL 60 6 20 26 101 14 2 4 6 21
1961-62 Montreal Canadiens NHL 61 1 7 8 74 5 0 0 0 2
1962-63 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 2 19 21 100 4 0 1 1 4
1963-64 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 5 19 24 91 7 0 2 2 25
1964-65 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 69 3 7 10 119 14 0 1 1 34
1965-66 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 51 0 1 1 34 3 0 0 0 0
1966-67 New York Rangers NHL 58 0 4 4 44 4 0 0 0 2
1967-68 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 74 2 10 12 58 -6
1968-69 Houston Apollos CHL 70 1 11 12 79 3 0 1 1 0
1969-70 Montreal Voyageurs AHL 66 0 10 10 14 8 0 1 1 0
1970-71 Montreal Canadiens NHLMGNT
NHL Totals 524 17 75 92 617 37 0 4 4 67


EPHL First All-Star Team (1961) Traded to Montreal by Toronto for Stan Smrke, June 7, 1960. Traded to Chicago by Montreal for Wayne Hicks, May 30, 1962. Claimed by Montreal from Chicago in Intra-League Draft, June 15, 1966. Claimed by NY Rangers from Montreal in Intra-League Draft, June 15, 1966. Claimed by Pittsburgh from NY Rangers in Expansion Draft, June 6, 1967. Traded to Montreal by Pittsburgh for Wally Boyer, June 12, 1968.
Named playing coach of Houston (CHL), September, 1968.
Surname(s) beginning with