Kevin Maguire's route to the NHL was somewhat unconventional compared to most skaters. He never played organized hockey through most of his teens. But, he developed enough skill in a short time to make a Tier II junior club called the Orillia Travelways. It was there that he got a real push to apply himself to the game. He did, and the results paid off.
Maguire signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs' organization in 1984. He was sent to St. Catharines of the AHL to be schooled by ironman taskmaster John Brophy. Brophy drove Maguire into the ice, pushing him to reach higher levels until, in 1986, the player made his NHL debut with the Leafs.
At the big-league level, Maguire established himself as a hard-nosed, third-line checker who made occasional excursions onto the power-play unit to cause havoc in front of the enemy's net. And, although he didn't go looking for fisticuffs, opponents often found him a willing and capable participant.
In 1987, Maguire joined the Buffalo Sabres where he saw his most steady stretch of action. He achieved his career-best 18 points and 241 penalty minutes during his second campaign with the club. Maguire rounded out his pro career with a brief stop in Philly followed by a return engagement with the Leafs that ended in 1992.
Upon retirement, Maguire left his skates on to pursue a career as a referee. After an apprenticeship in the AHL and the IHL, he made it to the NHL in 1999.