Kevin McCarthy was a gifted offensive defenceman who played over 500 NHL games for three different teams in the 1970s and '80s. His crisp passes and hard shot from the point made him an important part of the power play unit and a key to his team's transition game.
The Winnipeg native was a junior star with the local Clubs and Monarchs of the WCJHL. He represented Canada at the World Junior Championships in 1975 and was a two-time selection to the WCJHL first all-star team. After leading the league with 105 assists in 1976-77, the talented blueliner was taken 17th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers at the amateur draft.
The young rearguard was steady during his rookie season in 1977-78 but the Flyers were deep on defence. In December 1978, he was the key to a deal with the Vancouver Canucks that involved former top-five draft pick Dennis Ververgaert. McCarthy fit in well with his new club as he quarterbacked the power play and moved the puck up ice on a regular basis. He hit double figures in goals three times, topped 40 points on four occasions and took part in the 1981 NHL All-Star Game.
Following a mid-season trade in 1983-84, McCarthy played a season-and-a-half with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He signed with the Philadelphia Flyers as a free agent but was used almost exclusively on the farm. After recording 55 points for the Hershey Bears in 1985-86, the crafty defender was named to the AHL's first all-star team. After two more years with Hershey, McCarthy retired in 1988.