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Dave Manson and Paul MacDermid once fought back in the day. Now their sons fight for the Avalanche



As I type, we’re waiting for newly acquired Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson to check in with the media via Zoom call shortly before the Colorado-Kings game in Los Angeles.

While doing some reading, I was reminded that Dave Manson, Josh’s father, and Paul MacDermid, Avalanche enforcer Kurtis MacDermid’s father, had overlapping NHL careers, and combined for 4,095 penalty minutes.

I’m not a fight site devotee, but I was wondering if they ever had a scrap or two.

I mused on Twitter.

And here it is, from @adater and @duanedocs

Dave Manson, a Saskatchewan native, was a long-time Blackhawks defenseman until shortly before Josh was born in Hinsdale, a western suburb of Chicago, in October 1991.

Dave moved on to the Oilers in that 1991-92 season and spent the rest of his career with the Oilers, Jets, Canadiens, Blackhawks (again), Stars and Maple Leafs. (He’s now an Oilers assistant coach, hired about a month ago.)

His son, Josh spent two seasons with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the British Columbia (Junior) Hockey League before the Ducks took him in the sixth round of the 2011 draft.

As the Ducks watched, Manson played three seasons at Boston’s Northeastern University. He had six goals and 11 assists in 99 games with the Huskies. He signed after his junior season in 2014 and finished up that season with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals. He split 20114-15 with the Admirals and Ducks, and then stuck with Anaheim from there — or until Monday.

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His top season offensively was 2017-18, when he had 7 goals and 37 points.

Clearly, the acquisition of the 6-foot-3, 218-pound Manson was done to add some size and strength on defense, and it doesn’t seem a lock that Samuel Girard will skate in the top six, even if his troublesome back improves.

Pending any more trades, the Avalanche D-corps now is Jack Johnson, Erik Johnson, Devon Toews, Cale Makar, Manson, Ryan Murray, plus Kurtis MacDermid as a wild card. Bo Byram and Girard are out.

Jared Bednar again Tuesday night brought up the Avalanche wanting to become harder to play in the playoffs this year after last year’s second-round collapse. Even if his back heals, can the slick, yet undersized Girard fit in that? With Byram, of course, health is the issue.

After maintaining the fast-skating game had sufficiently changed to make size less important on the blue line than in the past, the Avalanche seems to have backed off that stand a bit.

Now two of their skaters can joke about their fathers’ fight.

Terry Frei (, @tfrei) is a Denver-based author and journalist. He has been named a state’s sportswriter of the year seven times in peer voting — four times in Colorado and three times in Oregon. His seven books include the novels “Olympic Affair” and “The Witch’s Season.” Among his five non-fiction works are “Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming,” “Third Down and a War to Go,” “March 1939: Before the Madness,” and “’77: Denver, the Broncos, and a Coming of Age.” He also collaborated with Adrian Dater on “Save By Roy,” was a long-time vice president of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and has covered the hockey Rockies, Avalanche and the NHL at-large. His web site is and his bio is available at

His Colorado Hockey Now column archive can be accessed here

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Surely this was a typo: “it doesn’t seem a lock that Samuel Girard will skate in the top six, even if his troublesome back improves.”
Do you really think Jack Johnson and Ryan Murray will both beat out Girard after he’s healthy?


Without a doubt. I still see Girard being traded to a team that values a puck handling defenseman that isn’t concerned with size and needs a quarterback to handle the power play.

John Klingenstein

Terrible take. What are you talking about???100% Girard is a lock if he is healthy. Not counting Byram, he is the 3rd best D-man on the team. Avgs 3rd most ice time too by a lot and that was even with clearly playing hurt so obviously the coaches have a better understanding of what is going on than the jokers on here.

Adrian Dater

I think Byram would be a 7th D, even if he comes back


Could you see them trading Byram or Girard ?

Adrian Dater

I don’t think so. They still value both D.

Bob Neal

Great video Terry. I enjoy watching tough guys go. Manson Part Deux looks pretty ripped.

[…] duked it out. Today, their sons Josh Manson and Kurtis MacDermid are fighting together to help the Colorado Avalanche try to win the Stanley […]


That’s a bit over the top. Sam at his best is a top-10 defenseman in the whole league. He’s been playing with a bad back and that explains his struggles in the d-zone. People forget he’s 23 years old. Remember when he came into the team at age 19 and took over as clear best d-man on the team right away. This was before a Makar or Teows for that matter. Sam didn’t have these problems with his defensive game then and and whether it’s his back or something else he’ll come back and be a great player again. For… Read more »

[…] Dave had a long NHL playing career with the Blackhawks, Oilers, Jets, Canadiens, Blackhawks (again), Stars and Maple Leafs. (As an Oiler, he once had a scrap with Paul MacDermid, father of Avalanche enforcer Paul MacDermid.) […]

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