After playing junior hockey in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, McNab played on minor professional teams in the 1946–47 season before being called up to the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League in 1947. He would play on and off with the Red Wings until 1951, playing on the team that won the Stanley Cup in 1950. He played for the Indianapolis Capitals of the American Hockey League in 1950–51. Before the 1951–52 season, he was traded by the Red Wings to the Chicago Black Hawks, but never played for the team. Back surgery kept him out of action in 1951–52 and McNab then joined the New Westminster Royals of the Western Hockey League, where he played for seven seasons, retiring in 1959. He was voted league MVP in 1955, scoring 32 goals and 81 points.
Coaching and managing
In 1961, McNab became general manager and coach of the San Francisco Seals of the WHL. He was then coach of the WHL's Vancouver Canucks and in 1966 was hired as coach and general manager of the San Diego Gulls. He rose in the front office to vice-president by 1971. In 1974 he was named president of the Central Hockey League. Although he would only remain with the CHL for a year, a trophy would be named in his honor, and would be awarded to the most valuable player in the league's playoffs.
Near the end of 1975, he joined the NHL as general manager of the Washington Capitals, succeeding Milt Schmidt. McNab remained in that job until 1982. Under his watch, the team drafted players such as Rick Green, Ryan Walter, Mike Gartner, and Bobby Carpenter.
Midway through the 1983–84 season, McNab joined the New Jersey Devils as vice-president and general manager. He would remain their general manager until 1987, and then retired from the team and hockey in the 1990s. During his tenure as Devils' GM, players such as Chris Terreri, Kirk Muller, Sean Burke, and Eric Weinrich would be drafted.
McNab died on September 2, 2007 at the age of 83.
- Ex-Devils GM Dead
- Max McNab's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
- Max McNab's biography at Legends of Hockey
- Summerlin resident reunited with Cup
- Picture of 1950 Stanley Cup plaque
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