Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Gerry McNamara
Gerry McNamara joined the Toronto St. Michael's Majors as a backup goaltender when he was 17 in 1951-52. He spent the first two years more as an apprentice, learning the ropes, but was instilled as the team's first-string netminder in 1953-54, when he was between the pipes for 57 games. He returned in 1954-55, playing in 46 games before turning pro the following year, playing five games with the AHL's Pittsburgh Hornets.

In the 1950's and early 1960's, goaltending jobs in the NHL were of course hard to come by, with just six teams in the league. McNamara dressed with several minor league teams before getting his shot at the NHL in 1960-61. He appeared in five games for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but with Johnny Bower firmly entrenched as the team's starter, and Cesare Maniago as the capable backup, it left McNamara as the odd man out.

Over the next three years, McNamara toiled in the minors and then was out of competitive hockey for two years in 1965 and 1966. He returned in 1966-67, beginning a seven-year stay in the OHA Senior ranks. While a member of the Orillia Terriers in 1969-70, the Maple Leafs called upon McNamara to play another two games. Officially, he played in seven NHL games, recording two wins, two losses and a tie.

When he retired from hockey for good in 1973, McNamara had already been with the Maple Leafs organization as a scout. He made a big name for himself as a keen eye for talent in 1973 when he returned from the World Hockey Championships to report on a star defenseman from Sweden, named Borje Salming. McNamara had seen Salming perform at the 1972 and 1973 World tournament as well as several times in Sweden, where he had originally traveled to scout a goaltender. McNamara was thoroughly impressed by Salming's unique combination of talent, puckhandling abilities and gritty style. On returning to Toronto, he recommended the Leafs sign both Salming and his Swedish countryman forward Inge Hammarstrom to help a Leafs' team that had been decimated by the exodus of its core players to the upstart WHA, including goalie Bernie Parent, Rick Ley and Brad Selwood.

In 1982-83 McNamara was promoted as the Maple Leafs general manager, after co-holding the position in 1981-82 with Punch Imlach. He remained in the role for six years, through the 1987-88 season. During his tenure he became known as one of the toughest negotiators when it came to trades with other teams. In fact, in an unofficial survey of managers, McNamara ranked second only to Montreal's Irving Grundman.

However, as solid a manager as McNamara was, it was not without many tumultuous situations with owner Harold Ballard as the team continued to struggle on the ice. A well-documented battle erupted in the public eye, when McNamara who left the Leafs first, but Brophy was not far behind.

After leaving the Maple Leafs, McNamara went into retirement.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP W L T SO Avg GP W L T SO Avg
1951-52 St. Michael's Majors OHA-Jr. 5 2 3 0 0 4.29
1952-53 St. Michael's Majors OHA-Jr. 10 0 3.00 1 0 4.00
1953-54 St. Michael's Majors OHA-Jr. 57 2 3.59 8 0 5.12
1954-55 St. Michael's Majors OHA-Jr. 46 25 18 3 2 3.24 2 0 4.00
1955-56 Pittsburgh Hornets AHL 5 1 4 0 0 3.80
1956-57 Winnipeg Warriors WHL 16 4 11 1 0 3.73
1956-57 Hershey Bears AHL 22 10 12 0 0 4.18 7 3 4 0 2 2.23
1957-58 Buffalo Bisons AHL 37 14 21 2 0 3.98
1958-59 Cleveland Barons AHL 49 29 18 2 3 3.16 7 3 4 0 1 2.57
1959-60 Sudbury Wolves EPHL 59 31 21 7 2 4.02 14 7 7 0 1 2.89
1959-60 Rochester Americans AHL 2 0 2 0 0 6.50
1960-61 Sudbury Wolves EPHL 52 18 27 7 3 4.04
1960-61 Rochester Americans AHL 1 0 1 0 0 5.00
1960-61 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 5 2 2 1 0 2.40
1961-62 Pittsburgh Hornets AHL 35 5 30 0 0 4.23
1961-62 Portland Buckaroos WHL 6 1 3 2 0 3.95
1962-63 Rochester Americans AHL 32 10 18 3 1 3.84
1963-64 Charlotte Checkers EHL 29 1 3.76
1964-65
1965-66
1966-67 Toronto Grads OHA-Sr. 31 2 3.67
1967-68 Toronto Marlboros OHA-Sr. 37 0 3.01
1968-69 Orillia Terriers OHA-Sr. 29 1 3.71
1969-70 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 2 0 0 0 0 5.22
1969-70 Orillia Terriers OHA-Sr. 25 3 2.44
1970-71 Orillia Terriers OHA-Sr.
1971-72 Orillia Terriers OHA-Sr. 31 3 3.70
1972-73 Barrie Flyers Al-Cup 1 1 0 0 0 3.00
NHL Totals 7 2 2 1 0 2.60


OHA-Sr. First All-Star Team (1970)
OHA-Sr. Second All-Star Team (1972)
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