Ron Duguay was a star hockey player from the time he was a young boy growing up in northern Ontario. By the time he was 13, he was playing with boys two years older than him. Duguay joined the Sudbury Wolves of the OHA in 1973 when he was just 16 years old. Duguay and another 16-year-old by the name of Dale McCourt were making news in Ontario hockey circles as being sure-bet superstars. In fact, as a 15-year-old, McCourt played in 26 games with the Wolves the year before Duguay joined the franchise, but they were never teammates as McCourt was picked by the Hamilton Red Wings in the junior draft, having played that first year as an underager.
Duguay spent four years in Sudbury. In that first season he scored 20 goals and 20 assists in 59 games while picking up 73 minutes in penalties. In his second year he increased his total points to 78. Duguay continued to climb the points' ladder in year three, when he scored 42 goals and 92 assists for 134 points. The Wolves were one of the top teams in the league in 1975-76, but the champions that year were the Hamilton Fincups, a team captained by the afforementioned Dale McCourt. In his final year of junior, Duguay was shadowed by the opposing team's top checker from the drop of the puck until the final buzzer, but he still managed to score 109 points.
Duguay was drafted 13th overall in the 1977 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers. Dale McCourt of the St. Catharines Fincups went first overall to the Detroit Red Wings. Barry Beck of the New Westminster Bruins went second overall to the Colorado Rockies.
With his long flowing hair and natural good looks, Duguay was a smash hit with the young females on Broadway and the men liked him because he was an excellent hockey player. In his rookie season with the Rangers, Duguay netted 20 goals and assisted on 20 others in the 1977-78 season. Just one year later, the team, led by the likes of 37-yeaer-old Phil Esposito, advanced to the Stanley Cup finals where they lost in five games to the powerhouse Montreal Canadiens.
By now Duguay was firmly entrenched as a fan favourite in New York. The love affair lasted six years, and although Duguay had a 40-goal season in 1981-82, the team was never able to reach the heights achieved during that 1979 run to the Cup finals.
Duguay went to the Detroit Red Wings at the start of the 1983-84 season. He played two 80-game seasons with the Wings, and likely would have had a third, but 67 games into the 1985-86 season he was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he played the final 13 games of the year. Duguay had averaged better than a point per game for the Wings in those first two seasons but the team felt it needed to move in a new direction. It was that trade which seemed to take the steam out of Duguay's career, as he never managed to regain the same scoring touch again, despite the trade happening when he was only 28.
In an attempt to regain some of his past glory, he was sent back to the New York Rangers but managed to score just 13 goals in 82 games over two seasons.
Still not convinced his time had passed him by, Duguay wound up on the West Coast playing with the Los Angeles Kings in 1987-88 for 15 games. He returned the following season, playing 70 games, scoring 17 goals and 17 assists for 24 points. That would prove to be his last year in the NHL, but Duguay continued to languish in the minors with the San Diego Gulls until he retired in 1998 at the age of 41.