A former American ice hockey player and member of the US Hockey team that won a silver medal at the 1956 Winter Olympics as well as a gold medal in 1960 Winter Olympics, John Mayasich is a living legend. Although he had a fairly successful career in his own right, many maintain that Mayasich was the greatest North American to never play in the NHL. That said, the following is a closer look at the life and career of John Mayasich’s career.
Born in Minnesota, his parents were Croatian, which made for some cultural barriers during his early years. Attending a local school in Eveleth, Minnesota, John participated in many sports and earned several accolades for his participation in hockey. Most notably, he helped his team set a number of records that are still intact (such as helping his team win four consecutive state championships), even today.
As mentioned, John played ice hockey in both the 1956 and 1960 Olympics, securing major victories each time. He then became the Minnesota Gophers’ all-time leading scorer, making 144 goals and 154 assists in the 111 games he played in. Moreover, following his time with the Gophers, he briefly pursued a career in professional hockey. Unfortunately, playing on both the Green Bay Bobcats and the Minneapolis Millers, ultimately playing on these minor league teams did not lead him to his ultimate goal on playing on the NHL. However, he did have some success in the broadcasting industry and even joined Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. and helped it become one of the highest rated major market stations in the country.
Overall, the story of John Mayasich is bittersweet. Although he achieved quite a bit and even managed to attain his own level of infamy, he still fell short of his true goals. Nevertheless, he also lived a life which most of us can only dream about. Not only did he play on two successful Olympic level teams, but he got to play with some of the top hockey talents of our time and settled into a career that allowed him to continue to rub shoulders with an array of highly successful people, while also redefining his own success.
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