Rob McClanahan

Robert Bruce McClanahan (born January 9, 1958) is an American former professional ice hockey player who played 224 games in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Buffalo Sabres, Hartford Whalers and New York Rangers between 1980 and 1983. McClanahan is arguably best known for being a member of the US Olympic hockey team that beat the Soviet Union en route to a gold medal at Lake Placid in 1980.[1]

Rob McClanahan
Born (1958-01-09) January 9, 1958 (age 62)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Left wing
Shot Left
Played for Buffalo Sabres
Hartford Whalers
New York Rangers
National team  United States
NHL Draft 49th overall, 1978
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 1979–1984
Rob McClanahan
Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1980 Lake Placid Team competition

Amateur and international careerEdit

McClanahan attended Mounds View High School and went on to play three seasons for the University of Minnesota, winning the 1979 NCAA national championship. After representing the US at the 1979 World Championship tournament in Moscow, McClanahan joined the US Olympic team on a full-time basis and scored 34 goals in 63 exhibition games. The culmination of McClanahan's amateur career came at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York when he scored five goals in seven games while helping his country win the gold medal. He scored the winning goal in the gold medal game against Finland (which the U.S. came back to win 4–2) two days after the historic American victory over the Soviets.

During the opening game of the Olympic tournament against Sweden, McClanahan sustained a bruise on the upper thigh, which left the US team's roster short a second player, as teammate Jack O'Callahan had been injured during the exhibition game against the Soviet Union only three days prior to the Olympics. A now famous argument between McClanahan and Team USA's coach Herb Brooks during the intermission helped motivate McClanahan to return to the game and play through his injury, inspiring his team to a come-from-behind draw against Sweden that proved vital to achieving gold medal success later in the tournament.

Professional careerEdit

McClanahan was selected forty-ninth overall in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres but did not begin playing with the Sabres until 1980, shortly after the Olympics. His NHL career was comparatively short-lived as he was mostly used as a role player. He bounced between the NHL and the American Hockey League and played part of the 1983/1984 season in the Central Hockey League with the Tulsa Oilers[2] before finishing his NHL career under his old Olympic coach Herb Brooks with the New York Rangers in 1984 (he also represented the Hartford Whalers in 1981–82). During his professional career, McClanahan also was a member of Team USA at the 1981 Canada Cup.

Post-playing careerEdit

McClanahan became a financial broker after retirement, beginning his career with Morgan Stanley in 1985, then working for Bear Stearns and Piper Jaffray, where he was managing director. He joined the Minneapolis office of ThinkEquity Partners in March 2002 as Principal and became the company's Head of Trading.

He also was featured in American Dad! season 6 episode Return of the Bling.

McClanahan is currently the head coach of The Blake School boys varsity hockey team.

In popular cultureEdit

McClanahan was played by Nathan West in the 2004 Disney movie Miracle, which told the story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal win. West had been a goalie for the junior hockey team the Detroit Whalers in the Ontario Hockey League and has a tattoo of the National Hockey League logo on his arm.[3]

In a 1981 TV movie about the same subject called Miracle on Ice, McClanahan is portrayed by Ken Stovitz.

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1975–76 Mounds View High School High-MN
1976–77 University of Minnesota WCHA 40 11 6 17 24
1977–78 University of Minnesota WCHA 38 17 25 42 10
1978–79 University of Minnesota WCHA 43 17 32 49 34
1979–80 United States Intl. 63 34 36 70 38
1979–80 Buffalo Sabres NHL 13 2 5 7 0 10 0 1 1 4
1980–81 Buffalo Sabres NHL 53 3 12 15 38 5 0 1 1 13
1980–81 Rochester Americans AHL 18 9 13 22 10
1981–82 Hartford Whalers NHL 17 0 3 3 11
1981–82 Binghamton Whalers AHL 27 11 18 29 21
1981–82 New York Rangers NHL 22 5 9 14 10 10 2 5 7 2
1981–82 Springfield Indians AHL 7 4 5 9 0
1982–83 New York Rangers NHL 78 22 26 48 46 9 2 5 7 12
1983–84 Tulsa Oilers CHL 10 4 10 14 10
NHL totals 224 38 63 101 126 34 4 12 16 31


Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1979 United States WC 8 1 3 4 6
1980 United States OG 7 5 3 8 2
1981 United States CC 6 0 0 0 2
Senior totals 21 6 6 12 10


  1. ^ "Sporting Upsets from the World of Horse Racing, Football and more". Archived from the original on March 15, 2008.
  2. ^ Tulsa Oilers 1983–84 roster and scoring statistics. Retrieved on 2014-02-15.
  3. ^ Nathan West. Internet Movie Database

External linksEdit