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Duncan MacPherson

Duncan MacPherson
A passport photograph of MacPherson, taken a few weeks before his death.
Born (1966-02-03)February 3, 1966
Saskatoon, SK, CAN
Died August 9, 1989(1989-08-09) (aged 23)
Stubai Glacier Resort, Austria
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Defenceman
Shot Left
Played for Springfield Indians
Indianapolis Ice
NHL Draft 20th overall, 1984
New York Islanders
Playing career 1986–1989

Duncan Alvin MacPherson (February 3, 1966 – August 9, 1989) was a professional ice hockey player who died under mysterious circumstances during a ski trip in Austria. He was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. A standout defensive defenceman for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League, MacPherson was drafted in the first round, 20th overall, of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders. He played minor league hockey for the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League and the Indianapolis Ice of the International Hockey League.


  • Disappearance 1
  • Career statistics 2
    • Regular season and playoffs 2.1
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5
  • Further reading 6


In the summer of 1989, MacPherson went to Europe. The New York Islanders had bought out and released the often injured MacPherson,[1] who never made it to the NHL.[2] MacPherson had intentions of taking a job as a player-coach for a semi-pro hockey team in Dundee, Scotland, commencing in August 1989, though he did have a bad feeling in his gut about the entrepreneur Ron Dixon who was backing the Scottish team.[2] He went to central Europe alone in early August 1989, the plan being to visit old friends and see the sights before going on to Scotland.

He was scheduled to arrive in Dundee on August 12. When he did not show up, his family went to look for him. A car he had borrowed from a friend was discovered six weeks later in the parking lot of the Stubaital ski-region resort at the foot of the Stubai Glaciers in the Stubai Alps in Austria, where he had rented a snowboard. His last known contact was with an employee of the ski resort on August 9, who reported that he spoke with MacPherson, and last saw MacPherson departing alone to perhaps squeeze in some final snowboarding and hiking before nightfall.[2]

Adding drama to the mystery was the fact that MacPherson claimed he had been contacted by the CIA, and that they were interested in recruiting him as a spy. The story was never confirmed.[1]

Almost 14 years after MacPherson disappeared, an employee of the Stubai Glacier Resort discovered a glove sticking out of the ice of the melting Schaufelferner Glacier (one of the Stubai Glaciers' arms), in the middle of the ski run, where MacPherson's body had lain frozen.[3]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1982–83 Saskatoon Blades WHL 5 2 4 6 16 2 0 0 0 0
1983–84 Saskatoon Blades WHL 45 0 14 14 74
1984–85 Saskatoon Blades WHL 69 9 26 35 116 3 0 0 0 4
1985–86 Saskatoon Blades WHL 70 10 54 64 147 13 3 8 11 38
1986–87 Springfield Indians AHL 26 1 0 1 86
1987–88 Springfield Indians AHL 74 5 14 19 213
1988–89 Springfield Indians AHL 24 1 5 6 69
1988–89 Indianapolis Ice IHL 33 1 4 5 23
WHL totals 189 21 98 119 353 18 3 8 11 42
AHL totals 124 7 19 26 368

See also


  1. ^ a b "Duncan MacPherson profile". Hockey Draft Central. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  2. ^ a b c Jones, Chris (2004-12-31). "The man in the ice". Esquire. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  3. ^ "Iceman". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 

External links

  • Duncan MacPherson's career statistics at
  • Duncan MacPherson's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
  • Find-a-Grave Entry

Further reading

  • Website and Book by John Leake, published in 2012
  • An update to the 2006 CBC story above by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Article from Esquire magazine, published in 2004
  • Story of his disappearance
  • Detailed chronology of events
  • In German language:
    • "Auf dünnem Eis" (On thin ice), story written by Florian Skrabal for Austrian magazine Datum – Seiten der Zeit, published 1 September 2009, retrieved 07 October 2012
    • "Eisiges Schweigen" (Icy silentness), story by Malte Herwig for Bavarian newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, published 5 October 2012, retrieved 07 October 2012
Preceded by
Gerald Diduck
New York Islanders first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Brad Dalgarno
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