Duncan MacPherson Disappeared During European Trip

Published on March 2nd, 2024 1:16 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The mysterious demise of a promising hockey player. It was the summer of 1984, and Duncan MacPherson had made it.

Duncan MacPherson was a standout defenseman during his time with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL.

His final season with the Blades was particularly impressive, as he compiled 64 points in 70 games. In addition to his offensive skill, MacPherson was gritty and very hard to play against.

MacPherson was graded as a first-round talent, and the New York Islanders agreed when they selected MacPherson in the first round of the 1984 NHL Draft.

Not only was MacPherson chosen in the first round of the draft, but he was also taken by a storied NHL franchise, the New York Islanders.

MacPherson would never play a single game in the NHL.

Five years after the 1984 NHL Draft, MacPherson's body would lay buried by snow in a ski resort in Austria, where it would remain undiscovered for 14 years.


MacPherson could never crack the NHL due to a number of injuries which kept him away from the Islanders.

After toiling in the AHL for a number of years, the Islanders threw in the towel on MacPherson.

MacPherson received an offer to be a player-coach for a team in Scotland, though he reportedly had a "bad feeling" about the owner.


Prior to reporting to his new team in Scotland, MacPherson thought that he would travel around Europe for a little bit.

MacPherson travelled to Austria, where he decided to do some snowboarding at the Stubai Alps resort.

MacPherson would borrow a car from a friend, and would never be seen again.


When MacPherson disappeared, there were all sorts of different theories as to what had happened.

Muddying the waters was the rumor that MacPherson had been offered work by the CIA as a spy.

Was he still alive, working as a spy?

Did he go missing while snowboarding?

The mystery remained unsolved for over a decade, as MacPherson never turned up.


In 2003, there was a big break in the mystery, as MacPherson's body was discovered buried under snow on a glacier.

MacPherson's body and snowboard had been mangled, consistent with being run over by a snowcat, which is used to maintain the slopes.

One theory is that MacPherson had injured himself and was calling out for help when a snowcat ran him over. This theory contends that the snowcat driver panicked and buried MacPherson's body deep in the snow, hoping that he would never been found.


We'll never know the truth as to what really happened to Duncan MacPherson, though one thing is for sure - his life came to a tragically early end.

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