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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Life And Hockey Career Of The Late Brent Macnab

Quebec Aces QHL- Brent Macnab.

Brent and Hazel Macnab on their wedding day. Photos submitted

Local resident Brent Macnab Jr. who was born on January 15, 1931, left home at the age of 14 to play junior hockey with the Wetaskiwin Canadians in the major junior league in 1945. Shortly, thereafter, the Calgary Buffalos wanted Brent to come and play with their team, however, the Wetaskiwin Canadians would not release him from his contract.

“My granddad Brent Macnab Sr. paid the astronomical fee of $1100, which in those days, after the war was a lot of money to have my dad released from the contract with the Wetaskiwin Canadians,” commented Brent’s son Blair Macnab.

After playing for roughly four years with the Calgary Buffalos Brent began his professional hockey career in 1950.

He played with the Calgary Stampede in the Western Canada Senior Hockey League (WCSHL) from 1950 to 1951. The WCHSL was a senior amateur hockey league that played until 1951. Following the 1950-51 season, the Regina Capitals folded. This gave the remaining teams the impetus to petition to join the professional Western Hockey league, effectively disbanding the WCSHL.

In 1951 the American Hockey League (AHL) picked up Macnab and he played with the St. Louis Flyers from 1951 to the end of the 1953 hockey season as a left shooting defensemen. The St. Louis Flyers were a Minor Professional hockey team based in St. Louis, MO playing in the American Hockey League from 1944 to 1953.

In the 1953-1954 hockey season Brent played in the Quebec Hockey League (QHL) and played for the Springfield Indians. According to his son Blair, Macnab also played with the Springfield Indians in the AHL in 1953-54 and 1954-55 seasons. The Springfield Indians were a minor professional hockey team based in Springfield, MA. Blair also mentioned his Father also played with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens a minor professional hockey team based in Chicoutimi, PQ in the 1954-55 season.

Moving on, Brent was with the Quebec Aces in the 1955-56 and the 1956-57 season under the QHL. In the 1957 season, Brent continued his professional hockey career with the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Hockey League where he stayed until he retired from professional hockey in 1961.

While playing professional hockey Brent Jr. married his first wife Hazel in 1952. They had one daughter Mickey (born 1953) and four sons, Brent (who passed away in 1957), Mike (born 1956), Randy (born 1960), and Blair the youngest born in 1964.

Once retiring from professional hockey Brent moved back to the Buffalo Coulee area and began farming with his dad Brent Macnab Sr.

According to Blair his Father Brent Jr. purchased the family ranch known as the Buffalo Creek Ranch in May of 1965 and ran 150 head of cattle and had horses.

“My dad purchased the ranch from Frank Eyben for the whopping sum of $50 per acre, and at the time he also purchased a brand new John Deere combine at the staggering sum of $6200,” commented Blair.

Blair comments that his dad Brent has always been his Dad, best friend, and mentor and that he could never have had a father better than the one had.

“My parents raised us all on the ranch, supported us in everything we did but never forced us to do anything, unless it was chores,” chuckle Blair. He always told us if we wanted something bad enough no one could stop you from getting it. My dad only had a grade 8 education and he was the best businessman I know.”

With great affection for his father Blair comments that his Dad worked hard every day of his life right up until his passing.

“He loved the farm, cattle and horses. He wasn’t a big fan of the machinery but it is how he made his living,” explained Blair. He also went on to say that his dad was a neighbour and a friend to all that crossed his path.

“I don’t think I ever introduced him to anybody who didn’t ask about him the next time they saw me. My Dad always had a smile and always had time to talk. He saw the good side of everyone and everything,” Blair relayed fondly.

Brent Macnab passed away on July 1, 2020 at the age of 89.

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