The festivities at Rogers Arena started early on Saturday, December 11th. Before Markus Naslund’s jersey was raised to the rafters, another familiar face greeted fans in the 100 level concourse. A long line of fans gathered to meet Canucks alumnus, Jack McIlhargey, who shares an even longer legacy with the Canucks.
Jack Mac has had many roles spanning nearly three decades within the Canucks organization. He was traded to Vancouver from Philadelphia with Larry Goodenough in exchange for Bob Dailey on January 21, 1977.
Known as a tough guy on the ice with the moustache to match, McIlhargey played 167 games in a Canucks jersey before returning to Philadelphia in 1980. In 393 career NHL games, he tallied 11 goals, 36 assists, and 1102 penalty minutes.
McIlhargey retired after the 1981-1982 season but remained heavily involved in hockey. Since the mid-1980s, Jack Mac has served as either an Assistant Coach or professional scout for the Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers. He also spent 8 seasons as the Head Coach of Vancouver’s farm team in Milwaukee (’91-92), Hamilton (’92-93) and Syracuse (’93-99). In 1999, the Burnaby native was voted one of the 30 All-Time Greatest Canucks.
In between posing for photos and signing autographs, Jack Mac exchanged stories with fans about his time as a player and coach and hockey hairstyles of the 1970s.
McIlhargey is currently a professional scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and a member of the Canucks Alumni Association.