While Dan Summers is being recognized for his ability to identify talent, it cannot be ignored that his own list of athletic accomplishments were equally impressive. Summers was a 22 year old kid who suited up for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 1945 Grey Cup. But it was only the beginning of a sports career highlighted by one championship upon another - only on ice, not the gridiron.
Summers played on hockey teams that won: the AHL's Calder Cup (Providence Reds, 1949); the WHL's President's Cup and Canadian Minor-Professional League's Edinburgh Trophy (Winnipeg Warriors, 1956); the IHL's Turner Cup (St. Paul Fighting Saints, 1960 and 1961); and the Canadian Senior Hockey Championship's Allan Cup (Winnipeg Maroons, 1964).
Summers' closest brush with the big leagues came when he was called up by the Wings from the AHL's Indianapolis Capitals for the 1947-48 Stanley Cup play-offs. But no Wings were clipped and Summers never dressed for a game. Indeed, Summers regretted never getting a chance to play in the old six-team NHL after a career on the bubble to the big time. Summers was a perennial all-star in the minor leagues in a playing career that spanned three decades.
When his playing days ended, Summers became a bird-dog for the Red Wings. In 1975, he was named Detroit's Head Scout, where he drafted such greats as Marcel Dionne and defenseman Reed Larson. In 1978, Summers was named the New York Rangers' Director of Scouting, the same year the Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup finals. Summers oversaw the drafting of several key players, including Brian Leetch and goaltender Mike Richter, two players who would eventually help lead the Rangers' to a Stanley Cup title in 1994. Dan Summers also scouted part-time for the NHL's San Jose Sharks.
Danny Summers is also a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.