Norm McAtee died on August 25th, 2010. He was 89 years old.
McAtee was not unlike many players in the 1940s in that World War II interrupted his hockey career and we may never have known just how good players like him were.
Born in Stratford, Ontario in 1921, McAtee was a local midget hockey star before moving to Oshawa to help lead the Generals to Memorial Cup championships in 1939 and 1940. Described as a brilliant playmaker and heady checker, McAtee's future in hockey looked bright.
McAtee began his professional hockey career with the Detroit Red Wings organization in 1940. He never played for the Wings, but he did apprentice with the Wings AHL farm team in Omaha, Nebraska, as well as spending time with the Philadelphia Ramblers in the 1941-42 season.
In 1942 McAtee was summoned to Canadian war duty. He served as flying officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force until 1945. Based in the Toronto area, he continued to play hockey with RCAF teams in high level senior hockey. In 1943 his team competed for the Allan Cup, the amateur championship of Canada.
When he was discharged from military duty he resumed his professional hockey career, but by then the NHL had all but passed him by. The NHL had introduced many younger players during the war years, and they wanted to find more. Aside from the 13 games with the Bruins, McAtee would play in the minor and senior league outskirts in places like Washington, Hershey, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Tulsa, Sherbrooke and finally Troy, Ohio, where was a playing coach with the Bruins.
It was in Troy that McAtee made a home after hockey. He worked Dayton Gems games with WKEF as Color Commentator and also served as referee in the IHL. He got heavily involved in the community of Troy, serving as president of the Recreation Board for 10 years as well as being members of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Chamber of Commerce and the Troy Kiwanis Club for 30 years.
McAtee also became a legendary local golfer. He had six holes in one and six Senior Championships at Troy Country Club. He also was Super Senior Champion in Dayton.
He retired in 1984 as a branch manager with Sherwin-Williams Paint Company after nearly 30 years of hard work.