1972 was a good year to be a hockey player. That was the year the upstart World Hockey Association was formed and it's competition with the National Hockey League for players drove up salaries and created hundreds of new jobs. That summer center Bob MacMillan was a first round draft pick of the New York Rangers but was also picked by the WHA's Minnesota franchise.
MacMillan spent his first two years as a professional playing for the Minnesota Fighting Saints but jumped to the NHL in 1974. "Mack the Knife" as he was known, split that campaign between the New York Rangers and their farm team in Providence and it would take a trade to make him a full-time NHL player.
MacMillan was dealt to the St. Louis Blues in September of 1975 and he blossomed with them by scoring 20 goals and 52 points in his first full year in the league. The following year he upped his point total but it wasn't enough to stop his from being traded yet again during his third year with the team. MacMillan was shipped to the Atlanta Flames in a big six-player trade and it was down in Georgia where he enjoyed his greatest success.
With the Flames MacMillan exploded offensively lighting the lamp 31 times in the 52 games he spent with them following the trade. During his first full year in the red and orange, MacMillan scored 37 goals and 71 assists for 108 points. His line mate, Guy Chouinard, managed 50 goals and finished just one point back of MacMillan. Not only was his offensive prowess impressive, but he only received fourteen minutes in penalties during the entire season and was given the Lady Byng Trophy as the league's Most Gentlemanly Player.
When the Flames franchise shifted to Calgary, MacMillan went with them, but he couldn't reproduce his scoring successes, though he was still a productive player. During the 1981-82 season he was on the move again as a part of the package that brought Lanny McDonald to Calgary.
MacMillan spent two and a half seasons with the Colorado/New Jersey franchise before moving on to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1984 to play his final season in the league.
Upon his retirement, MacMillan, who was a Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island native, returned to that province to coach Senior hockey. After two years behind the bench he made a brief comeback to the ice when he suit4ed up for two games with the Charlottetown Islanders in the 1987-88 season and scored four points.