1. He was one of the players who checked Bill Masterton when Masterton became NHL’s first and only on ice fatality
January, 15, 1968.
2. He scored on the day of NHL’s first and only doubleheader (at Philadelphia 1-1) March 3, 1968.
Cahan has other little things that make his career interesting. He turned pro at 20, made the NHL at 21 (he’d be about 21 in the photo here) and played at close to NHL level through the 1973-74.
He played in 666 NHL games, 369 WHL games, 170 AHL games and 78 WHA games from 1953-1974. That’s a total of 1,283 games.
He kept getting drafted by one team or another. His transaction history includes being drafted by New York Rangers from Toronto Maple Leafs in NHL Intra-League Draft, June 6, 1956; Loaned to Vancouver (WHL) by New York Rangers for the loan of Milan Marcetta, Jan. 10, 1959; Claimed by Oakland Seals from New York Rangers in NHL Expansion Draft, June 6, 1967; Claimed by Montreal Canadiens from Oakland Seals in NHL Intra-League Draft, June 12, 1968; Traded to Los Angeles Kings by Montreal Canadiens for Brian D. Smith and Yves Locas, July 1, 1968.
That Intra-League draft item that involves the Oakland Seals was in exchange for Carol Vadnais. The Seals had first pick in the IL draft that year and chose Vadnais, dropped Cahan and Montreal picked him up. There were also draft picks involved.
He was a minor league All-Star: WHL Second All-Star Team (1960, 1966), WHL First All-Star Team (1961, 1967). He won the Hal Laycoe Cup (WHL Top Defenseman) (1967).
After he retired, he was a Prudential Life Insurance of America agent for 15 years.
He died in Coquitlam, B.C. in the early 1990s, age 58.
The reason I’m writing about him tonight is that Cahan is a good example of the “old-timey” aging process. As mentioned, in the photo above he was 21 and in the one to the left he was 33 (this is a training camp photo for the Seals, he would turn 34 on Christmas Day 1967, 21 days before the Masterton death).
Is it the haircut? Did he smoke? This isn’t picking on Cahan or anything, pretty much all of the men who played in the 1960s looked old (by our standards) by mid-30s.
Maybe they just worked too hard.
Or maybe it was the Seals.