Rudy Migay

Rudy Migay was a spectacular player at the minor league level, but primarily a defensive player with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was best known as a penalty killer along with usual partner Ron Stewart.

The Fort William, Ontario native made quite a name for himself at the junior and AHL levels as a playmaking center. He was adoringly nicknamed "Toy Terrier" because of puny size (he stood just 5'6" and 150 pounds) combined with his tenacious style of play.

However the Leafs were a powerful team in the late 1940s, especially at center ice. Names like Max Bentley and Teeder Kennedy made it next to impossible to get much ice time. Migay was resigned to play with the Pittsburgh Hornets for 4 years before finally cracking the Leafs lineup.

Needless to say, Migay was definitely excited to join the Leafs, although he had to reinvent his game. It took him nearly three years to score as many points as he did in his last year of junior. Migay was content to play in a checking role for nearly 6 complete seasons with the Maple Leafs.

By the end of the 1957-58 season Migay's days in Toronto were coming to a close. He had finished the year in the minor leagues, and aside from the 20 more big league games, he wound up his career in the minor leagues both as player and as a playing coach.

It was a bitter ending for Migay, who felt he could have played at the NHL level over those final years of his career.

"I thought I might have a chance at coming back. I was hoping for a trade," said Migay, who along with Stan Mikita and Elmer Vasko was one of the few players of Slovak descent in the NHL's younger years.

The trade never materialized, of course. It was a different time back in the 1950s and 1960s. Teams could easily bury a player in the minor leagues and hope that the exiled players would tear up the minor leagues and possibly command more from in a trade. Migay held up his part of the deal - he went down without complaint and worked his butt off - scoring 82 points in just 51 games and shared the AHL's Most Valuable Player award (along with Bill Hicke)

Migay was never far from the game after he hung up the blades. While he operated a fuel business for a short period of time, he ultimately was employed in hockey for much of his adult life. He coached at the AHL and CHL levels before becoming a long time scout with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres.


Clay 4:12 PM  


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