John McCormack, who played parts of eight seasons in the NHL and was a third-line center for the Montreal Canadiens' Stanley Cup-winning team in 1952-53, died Wednesday in Oshawa, Ontario. He was 91.
McCormack, born in Edmonton on August 2, 1925, played briefly with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1947-48 and 1948-49, then saw action in 34 games in 1949-50 and 46 in 1950-51. However, he was sent to the minor leagues before the Maple Leafs won the 1951 Stanley Cup, although his name was engraved on the Cup after Toronto's five-game victory against Montreal in the Final.
Toronto traded McCormack to the Canadiens on Sept. 23, 1951, and though he never scored more than five goals or finished with more than 15 points during three seasons with Montreal, he was a reliable penalty-killer and shutdown center, usually assigned to play against the opposition's top line. McCormack was scoreless in nine games during the 1953 playoffs but helped the Canadiens win the Cup for the first time since 1946.
McCormack was claimed by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1954 waiver draft and played one more NHL season and another with Edmonton of the Western Hockey League before retiring in 1956. He had 74 points (25 goals, 49 assists) in 311 NHL games, as well as one goal and one assist in 22 playoff games.