Alyn McCauley retires to Coach.


Son of Liberty
His left knee no longer able to withstand the rigours of the NHL, former Maple Leaf Alyn McCauley has called it a career at the tender age of 31 and has take a job as assistant coach of the men's hockey team at Queen's University.

"I had three surgeries on my left knee and it doesn't feel the way I need it to (in order) to continue playing in the NHL," said McCauley, who managed only 10 games over two seasons with the Kings. "I spent last year in Los Angeles and rehabbed down there.

"It's gone well, but the rigours of the NHL are great and my body isn't up to it any longer."

Coaching at Queen's in Kingston is an opportunity the Brockville native said he couldn't pass up.

"It's somewhat of an experiment, too, to see whether coaching is what I want to pursue after playing," said McCauley. "I certainly enjoy watching hockey and studying it and strategizing. I'm certainly not taking a misstep by taking this opportunity to coach.

"If coaching doesn't work out, I have a lot of time ... to study, or work or get a degree."

McCauley's career was plagued by injury – he suffered three concussions and recurring knee injuries. But he has no regrets about how his NHL career played out.

"I grew up dreaming of playing in the NHL and I got there," said McCauley. "It was everything I wanted it to be and probably more. When you live your dream for 10 years, it's not a bad thing."

Drafted by the Devils, the Leafs acquired McCauley from New Jersey along with Steve Sullivan and Jason Smith for Doug Gilmour, Dave Ellett and a draft pick in 1996. McCauley said his highlight as a Leaf was the 2002 playoffs, when he filled the role as the No.1 centre when Mats Sundin got hurt.

He scored five goals and 10 assists in 20 playoff games, playing with Jonas Hoglund and Gary Roberts. He had six goals and 10 assists in 82 regular-season games in 2002.

The Leafs traded McCauley, Brad Boyes and a first-round pick to San Jose for Owen Nolan in a trade-deadline deal in 2003. As Sharks captain, he earned a nomination for the Frank Selke award in 2003-04.

I remember the Nolan/McCauley trade like it was yesterday. He was one of my favorite Leafs at the time and it really frustrated me all to hell. After going to the west coast (ironically closer to me) I sorta lost interest and stopped paying attention to McCauley. Probably about once a year I'd check up on his stats and remember the good ol' days when he was still healthy and wearing the Blue & White sweater.

I dont think of McCauley being a real old player. So naturally its sad to see his Playing career come to an end. However its nice to see he still has enough love for the game left that he wants to go into coaching. Especially since its at a lower level.... I hope to some day in the future hear about him behind the bench of a big league club.


For a Free Scotland
He was hyped for San Jose, but he was just too hurt to be of any use. Seems to be a sharp guy and his place is probably off the ice.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
McCauley had great talent, and I believe that if he stayed healthy he would of been a great hockey player. It's ashame that he has to retire early do to injuries. He'll surely help the Queens hockey coaching staff.