Hockey Gods


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Uploaded By: St Louis Hodgson on December 12th, 2015

Canadian ice hockey player John William McGrath of the 1911–12 New York Wanderers of the American Amateur Hockey League.

John McGrath [March 10, 1891 – February 18, 1924] was born in St. John's, Newfoundland to James Francis McGrath, a fisherman and political figure in Newfoundland, and Catherine McCarthy. He was of Irish heritage.

McGrath learned the game of hockey in his native country of Canada and between 1906 and 1911 he played for hockey clubs in Nova Scotia in the cities of Truro, Halifax and North Sydney.

John McGrath was a small player in stature, standing at only 5 feet and 2 inches, but had a rough and tumble playing style, as well as a dangerous shot, and it helped him score many goals.

In 1911 McGrath joined the New York Wanderers of the American Amateur Hockey League and in the 1911–12 season he led the league in goals from his right wing position. In the 1912–13 season he did not play in the AmAHL because of a suspension stemming from rebellious purposes, but instead did well on the work front. McGrath's proficiency as a stenographer led him to a private secreterial position with former President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt.

McGrath worked as a secretary for Roosevelt for four years, between 1912 and 1916, and was with him on his presidential election campaign tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 14, 1912 when Roosevelt was shot in an assasination attempt by saloonkeeper John Flammang Schrank.

In 1913–14 & 1914–15, as well as in one game in the 1916–17 season, McGrath represented the New York Irish-Americans of the American Amateur Hockey League.

John McGrath passed away in Newton Centre, Massachusetts on February 18, 1924 at an age of 32, after a brief period of illnes. He was survived by his wife Florence Steinbach and six children.

Sourced from Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 2, 1912. Credited to Hugh O'Neil.


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