Tracers: Pie

This is Johnny McKenzie. “Pie” was his nickname, which was better than the previous one (originally it was “Pieface”) and he’s a nice example of a player who took forever to find a home in the NHL and then made hay when the sun was shining.

The Rangers sent him to Boston during the 1965-66 season (for Reg Fleming) and at that time he’d never managed a prolonged period on the top 3 lines in the NHL. He was 28.

From the fall of 1966 through the spring of 1972 he scored 156 goals in 6 seasons. These were some of the all-time best scoring teams and McKenzie often played on the “2nd line” with Fred Stanfield and Johnny Bucyk. The top Bruin line in this era was Esposito-Cashman-Hodge and their third line (Sanderson at center, Westfall at RW and a bunch of guys–Mike Walton, Don Marcotte, Garnet Bailey–at LW) could score a little too, making for the kind of forward group teams can only dream of (although it was eclipsed by the glory Oilers) each season.

In 70-71 McKenzie scored 31 goals despite missing 13 games to repair a severe shoulder injury. It was a hockey injury but all agreed that McKenzie’s years of roping calves and riding bronco’s in the rodeo probably didn’t help the situation.

McKenzie once said “I knew the NHL was a career for me when they told me I couldn’t spend my summers in rodeo. Before that, no one cared what I did.”

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2 Responses to "Tracers: Pie"

  1. Black Dog says:

    I love pie.

    Just figured I’d throw that out there. There are pie people and cake people and I am a pie person.

  2. Schitzo says:

    I love the old Bruins jersey

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