Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 42
The Stanley Cup Journal

John MacLean, his wife Adrienne and children J.C. (John Carter) and Kyle, pose with the Stanley Cup at their Montclair, New Jersey home.
(Friday, September 12) — Through the last few weeks, a number of prominent former Devils have announced their retirements. Of course, Ken Daneyko announced the end of his playing career earlier in the summer, but both Kirk Muller and Doug Gilmour hung up their skates for the last time, and during their excellent careers, both were once proud members of the New Jersey Devils organization.

The retirement of a professional athlete is a delicate balancing act - they realize all too well that it has to happen one day, but hold on dearly as long as possible, not wanting to let go of the dream that has consumed virtually every waking moment (and many moments while asleep, too) from the time they were young boys. And then, before anyone is prepared, the inevitable occurs. Sometimes, an injury plays a role in making the decision - if your body won't allow you to compete, then you have to say goodbye.

Although there was a special jumping area and a temporary tattoo artist for the kids, the most popular activity for the children at John MacLean's party was drinking soda out of the Stanley Cup.
At other times, the competitive fire isn't burning as intensely as it once did. Maybe priorities have changed. And then, sadly, there are times when age catches up and the speed, the reflexes and the shot that were once deemed so dominating, candidly, just aren't anymore.

Last Sunday, the Stanley Cup spent the day with the Devils' assistant coach, John MacLean. MacLean retired June 7, 2002, and if ever there was a player with drive and determination, it was him. John is the all-time leading scorer for the Devils. Through nineteen NHL seasons, fourteen of which were spent in New Jersey, John MacLean played 1,194 games, scoring 413 goals and adding 429 assists for 842 career points. Consistency was a key for MacLean who reached the twenty-goal mark eleven times through his illustrious career.

All afternoon long, John tipped the Stanley Cup so each of his friends could get a drink from the silver chalice.
But in New Jersey, there may be one goal remembered above all others, and John MacLean was the architect of that historic marker. In a game against Chicago on April 3, 1988, the final game of that regular season, MacLean scored the overtime goal that launched the Devils into their very first playoff berth.

John MacLean was named an assistant coach for New Jersey prior to the 2002-03 season. Working beside fellow Devils hero, Bobby Carpenter, and assisting coaching icon Pat Burns, MacLean's contributions played a significant role in the Devils winning the Stanley Cup this June.

Hosts John and Adrienne MacLean hoist the Stanley Cup.
John greeted the Stanley Cup at his Montclair, New Jersey home at noon last Sunday. And there it stayed all day. But this was no laid back affair - 400 people visited the MacLean residence through the course of a beautiful afternoon. John and his wife Adrienne and their kids J.C. (John Carter) and Kyle hosted a terrific day. For the visiting children, they had a tattoo artist and a jumping area. The food was great, with ribs whose sauce was so good, it dripped off your chin, butter-splattered corn on the cob plus both a hotdog cart and an ice cream cart. Among those who dropped by to visit were Aaron Broten, Andy Brickley and Marty Brodeur, as well as a number of John's relatives from the Oshawa, Ontario area.

It was an enjoyable day for all, but as the last of the guests was kissing the Cup and thanking the hosts, John's mind was already starting to drift. Training camp opened Thursday (September 11) and you'll read all about it Monday in Stanley Cup Journal.

Kevin Shea is a Toronto hockey writer.

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