Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Bucko McDonald
At 5'10" and a solid 205 pounds, Wilfred McDonald was known in hockey circles simply as Bucko. The muscular defenseman from Fergus, Ontario began his ascent to the NHL playing with the IHL's Buffalo Bisons in 1933 at the age of 19. He played in the Queen City for two years and then was traded to the IHL's Detroit Olympics. During the 1934-35 season he was called up for 15 games with the IHL's Detroit Red Wings.

McDonald was a steady if not flashy player, who was very much a defensive-oriented player, always taking care of business in his own zone. It was his consistent play which kept him in the Red Wings lineup for the better part of three years before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Bill Thomson and cash.

McDonald skated with the Maple Leafs until November, 1943 when he was traded to the New York Rangers for cash. He spent two years in the Big Apple and finished his pro career in the minors, playing one year with the Hull Volants of the QSHL and two with the Sundridge Beavers of the NBHL.

Although an all-star defenseman in his own right, many best remember Bucko McDonald as the man responsible for turning Bobby Orr into a defenseman. McDonald coached Orr in peewee and bantam hockey. McDonald was the man who had Bobby play defense, despite his obvious offensive talents. When Orr's father Doug questioned McDonald about the curious move, Bucko responded, "Bobby was born to play defense." The rest, as they say, is history.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1933-34 Buffalo Bisons IHL 41 3 1 4 14 6 1 0 1 0
1934-35 Buffalo Bisons IHL 20 3 2 5 20
1934-35 Detroit Red Wings NHL 15 1 2 3 8
1934-35 Detroit Olympics IHL 12 3 1 4 8
1935-36 Detroit Red Wings NHL 47 4 6 10 32 7 3 0 3 10
1935-36 Detroit Olympics IHL 1 0 0 0 0
1936-37 Detroit Red Wings NHL 47 3 5 8 20 10 0 0 0 2
1937-38 Detroit Red Wings NHL 47 3 7 10 14
1938-39 Detroit Red Wings NHL 14 0 0 0 2
1938-39 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 33 3 3 6 20 10 0 0 0 4
1939-40 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 34 2 5 7 13 1 0 0 0 0
1940-41 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 31 6 11 17 12 7 2 0 2 2
1940-41 Providence Reds AHL 17 3 4 7 26
1941-42 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 48 2 19 21 24 9 0 1 1 2
1942-43 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 40 2 11 13 39 6 1 0 1 4
1942-43 Providence Reds AHL 9 0 5 5 2
1943-44 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 9 2 4 6 8
1943-44 New York Rangers NHL 41 5 6 11 14
1944-45 New York Rangers NHL 40 2 9 11 0
1945-46 Hull Volants QSHL 39 13 15 28 6
1946-47 Sundridge Beavers NBHL
1947-48 Sundridge Beavers NBHL 16 20 21 41 3 2 2 4 4
1948-49 Sundridge Beavers NBHL 22 21 16 37 4 3 4 1 5 6
NHL Totals 446 35 88 123 206 50 6 1 7 24


NHL Second All-Star Team (1942) Traded to Detroit by Buffalo (IHL) for Gamey Lederman and Lloyd Gross, January 9, 1935. Traded to Toronto by Detroit for Bill Thomson and $10,000, December 19, 1938. Traded to NY Rangers by Toronto for cash, November, 1943.
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