Max McNab, 1924-2007
An original Devil, McNab was the club's first VP of Hockey Operations, and became the second GM in team history when he took over for Billy MacMillan in 1983. McNab also served the team as Executive VP until his retirement in 1994, after nearly 50 years in hockey. Prior to his roles with the Devils, the Watson, Sask., native was the GM of the Washington Capitals from 1975-76 through 1981-82.
Among McNab's picks as Devils GM were center Kirk Muller, goaltenders Craig Billington and Sean Burke, and defenseman Eric Weinrich.
“On behalf of the entire New Jersey Devils organization, we are all deeply saddened by the loss of Max McNab," Devils’ CEO/President/General Manager/Governor Lou Lamoriello said. "He was a gentleman who dedicated his entire life to his family and to the game of hockey. We were fortunate to have had Max as part of the Devils’ family for 12 seasons. The hockey world has lost a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with June, Peter, David, and the entire McNab family.”
As a rookie with the Detroit Red Wings in 1947, McNab centered Hall of Famers Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay, and was later a member of Detroit's 1950 Stanley Cup title. He began his front office career in 1952, when he was named Coach at New Westminster of the Western Hockey League. He spent 13 seasons as a head coach in the WHL, including five as General Manager and Head Coach of the San Diego Gulls.
The McNab family tree remains rooted in hockey, as Max's sons Peter and David are actively involved with the NHL. Peter, had a 14-year playing career with Buffalo, Boston, Vancouver and the Devils, and is currently a television analyst for the Colorado Avalanche. David is the Assistant GM of the Anaheim Ducks.