Dunc Munro captained Canada's gold medal-winning team at the first Winter Olympic Games -- in 1924 at Chamonix, France. A few years later, the defenseman and sometime left winger starred with the Montreal Maroons in the young National Hockey League. His leadership and rink savvy eventually earned Munro the job of player-coach and manager of the Maroons.
Munro was born in Moray, Scotland, in 1901. He first started playing hockey as a youngster when his family moved to Toronto. The best senior team in the country at the time was the Toronto Granites, a club made up of ex-servicemen from the First World War. Munro joined the team in 1920, when the squad was virtually unbeatable. The Granites won the John Ross Robertson Cup in 1922 and 1923. Winning the Allan Cup in both of those years earned Munro and his teammates, including a few replacements from other Canadian amateur teams, an invitation to Chamonix to represent his country.
In France, the Canadians had little trouble against their poorly skilled opponents, winning all of their opening round games by incredibly lopsided scores. They captured the gold medal after a somewhat harder-fought final against the United States, a very physical 6-1 win. With Munro, Harry Watson, and Hooley Smith leading the way, Canada outscored its opponents 110-3 in Chamonix.
When he returned to Canada, Munro was signed by the expansion Montreal Maroons, who were playing their first season in the NHL. It was a difficult year, as Montreal stayed out of last place only because of the poor performance of another new league entry, the Boston Bruins. In 1925-26 the Maroons improved dramatically. After finishing second in the regular season -- and winning twice as many games as they did in their inaugural year -- the Maroons marched to the NHL championship, winning the final series over the favored Ottawa Senators. The Maroons then captured the Stanley Cup by defeating the Victoria Cougars.
Munro and the Maroons were back in the Stanley Cup finals in 1928, but this time they were outclassed by the New York Rangers. After playing only one game of the 1928-29 season, Munro suffered a minor heart attack. He was forced to sit out the whole season to convalesce. When he returned in 1929, he was named the team's coach and manager while still taking a regular shift on the ice. Although Montreal was well above .500 during his tenure, Munro was playing less and less and was unable to deliver a successful playoff drive in 1931.
He left the Maroons after the 1930-31 season. Just before the beginning of the next season, he was signed by the rival Montreal Canadiens, for whom he played one full year before retiring from the game in 1932.
Dunc Munro, his heart weakened by several attacks over the years, died in 1958, two weeks before his 57th birthday.