Dunc Munro

This is Dunc Munro, courtesy of the rare 1924-25 Dominion Chocolate hockey card set. His card would have been pretty popular back then. After all, he had just led Canada to the gold medal in the 1924 Olympic Games at Chamonix, France.

Munro was one of hockey's great leaders. He captained the Toronto Granites senior team that had earned the right to represent Canada at the Olympics. The Granites, made up largely of ex-servicemen form the first World War, were virtually impossible to beat, winning back to back Allan Cups as the amateur champions of Canada in 1922 and 1923.

In 1924 they were off to the Olympics where they faced no real challenge. They beat Sweden 22-0, Britain 19-0, Czechoslovakia 30-0, Switzerland 33-0 and the United States 6-1.

Munro was the captain of the Olympic team as well. He scored 16 goals in those 5 games. He and Beattie Ramsay were the only two defensemen Canada iced in that tournament. It is likely both players played every minute of every game. Plus, he refereed the Belgium-United States contest!

Upon his return to Canada his services became quite sought after by the professional ranks. The Montreal Maroons, a new team marketed to English speaking Montreal, targeted the 23 year old Scottish-born Munro immediately. There is some speculation that the deep-pocketed Maroons made Munro the richest man in pro-hockey at the time. Despite being one of the younger players on the first year Maroons team, Munro was named captain again.

It was not long before the Maroons challenged for hockey supremacy. In just the team's second year, 1925-36, Munro helped to lead them to the NHL championship and then to the Stanley Cup championship, defeating the west's Victoria Cougars.

The Maroons returned to the Stanley Cup finals in 1928, only to lose famously to Lester Patrick and the New York Rangers. Patrick of course was the silver haired 44 year old coach who played in net in game 2 of the series because Lorne Chabot became injured.

Munro was described as "beefy" who had some legendary battles with the Canadiens pint-sized Aurel Joliat. In one incident fought like "enraged bulldogs," both on the ice and in the penalty box.

Munro's health became a serious concern in the 1928-29 season. He would play in only one game after suffering a heart attack. He turned to coaching, and in 1929-30 he returned for a full season in 1929-30 as both coach and player. He left the ice again after just 4 games in 1930-31.

Hoping to resurrect his hockey career Munro signed on with the cross-city rival Montreal Canadiens for the 1931-32 season, playing a full schedule and by most accounts playing well. It would be his last season on the ice, as he turned his full attention to coaching.

Munro would suffer several heart attacks over the years, causing his health and style of life to deteriorate. He died in 1958, just shy of his 57th birthday.

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