Associate Kevin Magnuson says he’s very proud of his father, and the legacy he created.
In November, the Chicago Blackhawks retired defenseman Keith Magnuson’s jersey, a number he shared with former player Pierre Pilote. Keith played for the Blackhawks for 11 seasons, was a captain of the team and later coached for two years. He died in an automobile accident in 2003, at age 56.
“It was an unbelievably emotional experience for the family,” Kevin said about the November event for his father. “Just the outpouring of support that night and in the previous five years has truly been unbelievable. It made our lives that much easier. It is not easy, but it’s easier.”
Kevin, who practices corporate and real estate law at Henderson & Lyman, said he too played hockey in college at the University of Michigan, and won a national championship there his sophomore year.
Hockey provided him with a special bond to his father, he said.
“It’s really given our family everything that we have,” Kevin said about hockey. “Through different social circles it allowed my sister, and myself, and my mother to be exposed to so many great people and great opportunities. Hockey paid for my education, and paid for my dad’s education.”
He said his father was a “very hard-nosed” player. He worked hard on the ice and would sacrifice his body to win at all costs. He demonstrated constant teamwork, and was recognized for his defensive play. He would constantly stand up for his teammates, he said.
“Contrasting that with how he was off the ice, you couldn’t have met a nicer gentleman,” Kevin said. “He made everyone feel like he was their friend, and was heavily involved in charity work throughout the Chicagoland area. I was so lucky to have him as a dad and mentor.”
Kevin said he learned many lessons on the ice, which he applies to his legal practice.
“When you go into games you are going to face a lot of adversity, and on-the-spot problem-solving,” he said. “In the practice of law, in my first two years, I’m faced with new problems everyday and am talking them through with my teammates, otherwise known as co-workers or colleagues. We don’t solve problems in a physical nature, but mentally we talk it through.”
He and several family members plan to attend the Blackhawks-Detroit Red Wings game at Wrigley Field on New Year’s Day.
“The team couldn’t be playing any better, which makes it that much more exciting,” he said. “I am really looking forward to it.”