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A passport photograph of MacPherson, taken a few weeks before his death.
Born February 3, 1966(1966-02-03),
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Died August 9, 1989 (aged 23),
Stubai Alps, Austria
Height
Weight
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Defenceman
Shot Left
Pro clubs Springfield Indians
Indianapolis Ice
NHL Draft 20th overall, 1984
New York Islanders
Playing career 1986 – 1989

Duncan MacPherson (February 3, 1966 – August 9, 1989) was a professional ice hockey player who died under mysterious circumstances. He was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. A standout defensive defenceman for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League, MacPherson was drafted in the first round, 20th overall, of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders. He played minor league hockey for the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League and the Indianapolis Ice of the International Hockey League.

Contents

Disappearance

In the summer of 1989 he was going to Europe to possibly take a job as a player-coach for a hockey team in Dundee, Scotland, and he went on a solo vacation around Europe in August, 1989, before taking up the position. He was scheduled to arrive in Dundee on August 12. When he did not show up, his family went to look for him. His rental car was discovered six weeks later in the parking lot of the Stubaier Gletscher resort in the Stubai Alps in Austria, where he had rented a snowboard and taken lessons. He was last seen late in the afternoon of August 9 on the chairlift.

In July, 2003, an employee of the resort discovered his perfectly-preserved body in melting snow.

An account has him departing on foot alone, at night, into treachorous, icy wilderness that was unfamilar to him. How could a Canadian person who had lived through many cold winters not realize the danger of such a choice? Some speculate this unwise risky behavior was a reaction. In effect, it was an act of suicide, a mental response to the fact his life was not going well.

Duncan MacPherson would never play even a single shift in the NHL, as he had been released by the New York Islanders. He was only 23 years old. His ankle and knee injuries he experienced - injuries that saw him miss a substantial number of games in the minor leagues - had accumulated to rob him of his agility. MacPherson claimed to have been contacted by the CIA about becoming a spy while in Europe, but declined. He had been forced to go to Scotland to stay employed in hockey. He never gained size after being drafted. A theory has him sustaining an injury falling into a crevass, climbing out only to be killed when being run over by the end-of-day grooming machine.

Hockey Career

The former first round draft choice was enroute to start a new job as a coach in Scotland, never having play a single shift in the NHL.

Career statistics

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Regular season and playoffs

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1982–83 Saskatoon Blades WHL 5 2 4 6 16 2 0 0 0 0
1983–84 Saskatoon Blades WHL 45 0 14 14 74
1984–85 Saskatoon Blades WHL 69 9 26 35 116 3 0 0 0 4
1985–86 Saskatoon Blades WHL 70 10 54 64 147 13 3 8 11 38
1986–87 Springfield Indians AHL 26 1 0 1 86
1987–88 Springfield Indians AHL 74 5 14 19 213
1988–89 Springfield Indians AHL 24 1 5 6 69
1988–89 Indianapolis Ice IHL 33 1 4 5 23
WHL totals 189 21 98 119 353 18 3 8 11 42
AHL totals 124 7 19 26 368

See also

External links


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