Four birthdays today
Max McNab: Center who played parts of two seasons for the Capitals, playing six games in 1946-47 and then returning to play a full season in 1950-51. In the latter season, he had 36 goals and 48 assists. In-between, he played 128 games for the Red Wings, winning the Stanley Cup in 1950. While the "Production Line" of Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and Sid Abel is one of the best-remembered in hockey, McNab skated with Howe and Lindsay briefly. McNab made his mark as a hockey executive, starting as a coach and GM in the Western Hockey League in 1961. In 1974, he became president of the Central Hockey League, which would later name its playoff MVP trophy for him. The next year, he joined the Washington Capitals as general manager. He served the Caps from 1975-82, and then became the New Jersey Devils' GM from 1983-87. In both cases, he turned moribund teams into perennial playoff contenders. The year after he left New Jersey, the team advanced to within one game of the Stanley Cup Finals. He remained as a Devils vice president until 1994. In 1998, he was named a recipient of the Lester Patrick Trophy for service to hockey. McNab's two sons have also made a mark in hockey. Peter played for four teams, David is the Anaheim Ducks' assistant GM. A native of Watson, Saskatchewan, he was born in 1924. He passed away in 2007.
Earl "Dutch" Reibel: Center who played 68 games for the Capitals in their final season, 1951-52. He had 33 goals and 34 assists to lead the team in scoring that season. Two years later, Earl would get the call to Detroit for six full NHL seasons, all but two of which were spent with the Wings. He went to Chicago in 1957 and Boston in 1958. Reibel won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 1954 and 1955. In 1954-55, he was the Wings' leading scorer with 25 goals and 41 assists, becoming the only player not named Gordie Howe to win the team scoring title in a 15-season span between 1950 and 1964. He played 409 NHL games, tallying 84 goals and 161 assists. He was also the Lady Byng Trophy recipient for gentlemanly play in 1956. A native of Kitchener, Ontario, he was born in 1930. He passed away in 2007.
Marty Nanne: Right wing who played for the Ice from 1989-91, totaling six goals and 12 assists in 73 games. He also appeared in six of the seven games in the down-to-the-wire 1991 playoff series against the Fort Wayne Komets. Nanne played three pro seasons -- all in the Chicago organization -- before retiring and returning to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to become an insurance agent. Nanne is also known for being the son of former North Stars player, coach and GM Lou Nanne, who also has had a significant role in the development of USA Hockey. A native of Edina, Minnesota, he is 44.
Kirk Daubenspeck: Goaltender for the Ice from 1997-99, their final two IHL seasons. Daubenspeck has Indiana ties, attending Culver Military School for high school before returning home to play for the University of Wisconsin, Daubenspeck played 30 games for the Ice, posting an 8-17-1 record, splitting those years between the Ice and the ECHL. Daubenspeck spent much of his career with the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays, for whom he played from 1999-2001, and again from 2002-06, splitting time in those seasons with several AHL and IHL teams. Daubenspeck was critically injured in an auto accident in February, and has been recovering. More info can be found -- and donations for Kirk can be made -- at www.kirkdaubenspeck.com. An update on his recovery (from April) can be found here. A native of Madison, Wis., he is 37.