Thursday

Alex McKendry

Alex McKendry was a gigantic winger out of the OHA Sudbury Wolves organization. The Islanders like his combination of size, aggressiveness and scoring prowess to select him 14th overall in the 1976 Entry draft.

However, like many bigger players, it took McKendry some time to find his game at the professional level. It wasn't until his 4th season in the minor leagues that he found his groove. He scored an impressive 40 goals and 77 points with the CHL Indianapolis Checkers and was named to the CHL first all star team in 1979-80.

McKendry, who appeared in 10 NHL regular season games over 4 years without recording a point, was recalled to the Islanders for their playoff drive once the Checkers were eliminated from their post season. McKendry of course would not play unless there was an injury, so he worked hard in practice just in case he was called upon.

That opportunity actually presented itself. Substituting for none other than Mike Bossy, the games best pure goal scorer. McKendry stepped in as if from out of nowhere, and scored a pair of goals to help spark a come-from-behind win and eliminate Los Angeles in the first round! The Islanders of course went on to capture Lord Stanley's Cup in 1980.

Despite his strong season in the minors and his solid play in the NHL playoffs, the Islanders decided to move the failed first round draft pick. With his trade value never so high, the Isles moved the Midland Ontario native to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 3rd round draft pick just prior to the 1980-81 season.

McKendry got a better chance to play in Calgary, but was unable to make much of the golden opportunity. McKendry scored 3 goals and 9 assists in 36 games, but ended the season struggling in the CHL once again.

McKendry played two more seasons in the CHL, never quite able to recapture his all star season of 1980. He retired from pro hockey after the 1982-83 season.

At last hearing McKendry was working in the oil sands near Fort McMurray, BC. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a legend

Anonymous said...

Fort McMurray, Alberta.

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