Two-time Stanley Cup Winner, who lives in Treasure Valley, looks back on career

Eagle resident John MacMillan won two Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1962 and 1963. (Courtesy: Toronto Maple Leafs)

John MacMillan earned two Stanley Cup rings during his NHL career.

Well, he had two titles, but just one ring.

“We came back to camp in 1963 and they said give us your rings,” said MacMillan, stating the club just added another year to the ring he already had. “We got one ring for two years.”

His team later made that right.

MacMillan, who now resides in Eagle, grew up in a small town in Alberta, Canada.

He came to the U.S. to play for the University of Denver. He helped the Pioneers to two national titles in 1958 and 1960.

After graduating, he was on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ radar.

“(They) sent me a letter to come to camp,” MacMillan said. “So away I went.”

At camp, MacMillan didn’t know who he was competing against for a spot on the team since this was back in a day without Internet and hockey was rarely televised.

“I had to ask ‘Who is that?’ and ‘Who is that?’” MacMillan said. “And they sure as Hell didn’t know who I was either.”

He made the team and then in 1962, and again in 1963, won hockey’s ultimate prize – the Stanley Cup.

The city even hosted a parade.

“They had more people at that parade than when Queen Elizabeth visited,” MacMillan said.

The next season, MacMillan joined the Detroit Red Wings, where he almost won another Stanley Cup.

After Detroit, MacMillan played for the minor league Memphis Wings and then the San Diego Gulls. He capped his career with them after the 1970-71 season.

MacMillan moved to Boise in 1980 to help his brother start up a computer franchise.

He’s been here ever since.

Now at 82 years young, MacMillan stills suits up and plays hockey.

“I don’t contribute a lot,” he said. “I probably get in the way a lot but they put up with me.”

MacMillan just had hip surgery, so he will probably be watching when either Las Vegas or Washington wins its first-ever Stanley Cup.

“It adds to the legend of the Cup,” he said. “It adds a new story all by itself.

A story that MacMillan helped write and now preserves in the Treasure Valley.

If you are interested in learning more about MacMillan’s story, local filmmaker Ed Guthero is working on a documentary about him. He hopes the documentary will be completed in September.

“I think this is more than a hockey film,” Guthero wrote in an email. “It is about him as a person and his influence as well. I wanted to show how age is no barrier to someone who keeps in condition and still has infectious youthful enthusiasm for the game. I wanted to make the film and tell John’s story as a player but also as a person, for his positive influence and friendship.”

The film will be approximately 40-45 minutes and Guthero hopes to show it locally.

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