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Matthew 'Mac' Colville Passes Away at 87

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

The New York Rangers lost a member of their 1939-40 Stanley Cup championship team on May 27 with the passing of Matthew ‘Mac’ Colville. He was 87.

The 5-8, 175-pound right winger appeared in 353 career games with the Blueshirts from 1935-36 to 1941-42 and 1945-46 to 1946-47, collecting 71 goals and 104 assists for 175 points, along with 132 penalty minutes. In 40 career playoff matches, Mac recorded nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points. He played his entire NHL career with the Rangers.

Mac had the pleasure of skating alongside his older brother Neil on Broadway, where the two joined forces with left wing Alex Shibicky to form the ‘Bread Line’ – dubbed by the local sportswriters as the team’s ‘bread and butter.’ When the line was first formed, for the 1936-37 season, the ‘Bread Line’ was the youngest trio in the National Hockey League – Mac was 20, while Neil and Alex were 22.

The Colville brothers played a part in a historic game on December 1, 1941, as four sets of brothers played in one game. The Rangers’ Colville brothers and Patrick brothers (Lynn and Muzz) faced off against Chicago’s brother acts of Max and Doug Bentley and Bob and Bill Carse. The Blackhawks defeated the Blueshirts, 4-1, at Chicago Stadium.

Both brothers, Edmonton, Alberta natives, enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1942 to 1945, where they played for the powerful Ottawa Army Commandos squad. Mac returned from World War II to play in 53 games on Broadway during the 1945-46 and 1946-47 seasons before finishing his hockey career with the Vancouver Canucks (PCHL) and Edmonton Flyers (WCSHL). He later served as coach in Vancouver (PCHL) as well as in New Haven for the Ramblers of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Mac’s passing leaves only four surviving members from the 1939-40 Rangers championship team: Shibicky, Clint Smith, Dutch Hiller, and Alf Pike.

Memorial services are scheduled for June 2 in Calgary, Alberta. The Rangers would like to extend their deepest sympathies to the Colville family on their loss.

John Halligan contributed to this story.
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