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Bob McGill

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Status: Former NHL defenseman from 1981-1994 with Toronto, Chicago, San Jose, Detroit, New York Islanders and Hartford.

Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 193 pounds

DOB: April 27, 1962 In: Leduc, Alta.

First Hockey Memory: "Grew up in Edmonton, first memory...climbing over the boards, the outdoor rink was right across the street from home. And we'd put our skates on at home, my brother and I, and we'd skate across the road, jump over the boards onto the ice. I started playing probably when I was three to four years old."

Hockey Inspirations:
"From watching hockey, obviously Bobby Orr was a big influence in my life. I wanted to be Bobby Orr. I was a Boston Bruins fan probably until the day I got drafted by the Maple Leafs."

Last Book Read: "Oh gosh, don't even know the name of it. By James Patterson. Finished it last week...The Tenth Murder."

Current Car: "I drive a Toyota Tundra."

Nicknames: "Big Daddy is my nickname I got when I played in the minors. Marc Magnan, a guy I played with in St. Catharines in the American Hockey League, was reading this book about Big Daddy Lipscomb, who played in the NFL. He was supposed to be the toughest guy. I got in a couple scraps. Came in the dressing room, he started calling me ‘Big Daddy.’ And everybody started laughing. He called me that for a few days and it kinda stuck from there. I saw Dave Andreychuk today, the first thing he says is, 'hey Big Daddy, how's it going?' So it's kinda stuck with me for a long time."

First Job: "Was working in a deli. Grade seven and eight. I worked there on weekends."

Greatest Sports Moment: "I would have to say it would be playing in the Stanley Cup semifinal a couple different times. Never made it to the final. But certainly it was great to be a part of the semifinals."

Most Painful Moment: "Probably when I broke my jaw was probably one of the most painful. (How?) I was on the wrong end of a fist, a Louie DeBrusk fist."

Favorite Uniforms: "Well, can't beat the away jersey of the Chicago Blackhawks reds."

Favorite Arena: "My favorite was always Chicago Stadium, even before I played for the Blackhawks. Chicago Stadium was unbelievable to play in, it was so cool. I think going to the Montreal Forum the first time, too. A couple of arenas like that. The old Boston Garden. The Original Six. They were so old and had such history in them."

Most Memorable Fight:
"Probably the best one of all the fights I had where it was a knock down, drag 'em out fight - it was with Gary Roberts when I was playing with the Blackhawks. He was playing for the Calgary Flames. It was a pretty good one."

Closest Hockey Friends: "It's funny, somebody told me when you started this game, if you can count on one hand guys that you'll keep in contact with for the rest of your life, you'll be lucky to fill up a hand. And they're very true. Leigh Verstraete, who I played with in the minors. He was the best man when I got married. Steve Thomas. Him and I still talk quite a bit. And Steve Larmer, who I played with for the Chicago Blackhawks for four years. And Greg Gilbert is another guy who I keep in contact with all the time."

Funniest Player Encountered: "Gosh, Dougie Gilmour is one of the funniest guys ever. He's a practical joker. He used to pull big time practical jokes all the time on different guys, on coaches, and everybody. Nobody was excluded."

Toughest Competitors Encountered: "When you talk about guys who you battled the most and were fierce competitors, a guy who comes to mind probably first and foremost is Brian Sutter. He was the captain of the St. Louis Blues. They were within our division my first six or seven years. I played when I was in Toronto and Chicago. And he was such a fierce competitor. And he wasn't a big guy, but he was tough as nails. I always had to play against him, was right defense, he was left wing. We used to butt heads quite a bit. We fought a lot. And it's kind of interesting, when he became a coach, he pulled me aside a few times and we had some good chats. So, pretty competitive guy."

Most Memorable Goal: "Probably my first NHL goal. It was nine games into my career. It was Edmonton. My mom and dad, brother and sister and all my buddies were at the game and I came out of the penalty box and ended up with a breakaway and scored on Grant Fuhr. So it was kinda cool."

Funny Hockey Memory: "One of the best memories you can get, Mr. (Harold) Ballard back in the day, I think it was Borje Salming or somebody, they put baby powder in the hair dryer. And Mr. Ballard came in and was having a shower. He went to go dry his hair and turned the blow dryer on and baby powder shot out of it, all over his face and his hair, everywhere."

Strangest Game: "I think the funniest thing ever was the night Al Iafrate - we were playing at Madison Square Garden in New York and it was the second period. They had the major turnbuckle in New York City where the peoples’ feet are right at the top of the boards. People who are front row are against the glass. Al Iafrate was coming 100 miles an hour down the ice and he got hip-checked by Tom Laidlaw - he actually slid along the top of the bench and then right into the turnbuckle - from like a 100 miles an hour to like zero. And he was lying on the ice and his helmet had popped off. And it was about 10 feet away from him. Everyone thought he was gonna be dead for the way he hit it. He was very conscious of his - he was a young guy and he was balding very early. And all of the sudden he started pulling himself by his elbows and his hands. On the bench we were going, “’He's going to get his helmet!' And then he puts his helmet on his head. And then he's like dead on the ice! The guys were literally peeing in their pants on the bench, laughing it was so funny, even though he was hurt. But it was funny to see what happened because he didn't want anyone to see his bald head. It was so funny."

First Famous Hockey Player You Ever Met: "Well, growing up in Edmonton, we never had an NHL team. So I never really met one until I skated in the summer time. We used to have this conditioning camp in Edmonton – the NHL started it. So there were some guys who played for the Oilers who skated in this conditioning camp. So I got to meet a couple of guys - Dave Hunter, Dave Semenko and Dave Lumley. Those were the first NHL players I got to skate with and meet."

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "Baseball. Loved baseball when I was a kid. Now golf is certainly a good one."

Personality Qualities Most Admired: "I like to see people outgoing and friendly. People who are easy to talk to. That's something that goes a long way with me. I think when you can sit down and chat with anybody, that's a pretty special quality."

Mark 'Scoop' Malinowski's second book "Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew" is available on Malinowski is the creator of two websites: and


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