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Peter McNabb dead at 70... drafted by Sabres


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Peter McNab was a promising Sabre in his rookie year ('74-75) when they went to the finals vs. Philly. The following year, the Sabres played the Soviet Wings in their first tour of North America and the Sabres played perhaps their best game ever (an exhibition game unfortunately) en route to a 12-6 win. After the game, McNab and Rick Martin, as well as maybe others, said in interviews that they won this game for Canada. It was here that the anecdote was picked up in Punch Imlach's "Heaven and Hell in the NHL" book. Apparently Buffalo fans were incensed that McNab said he played this game for Canada and not for Buffalo, although guys like Martin, didn't hear anything. The boo-birds came out for McNab and he forced his way out of town...this according to Punch Imlach...and the rest is history.

RIP Peter. Although it didn't end well in Buffalo, you were a credit to hockey.

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McNab was a really really good player...he scored 80 pts per season for quite a while with the Bruins

9 hours ago, Quint said:

Peter McNab was a promising Sabre in his rookie year ('74-75) when they went to the finals vs. Philly. The following year, the Sabres played the Soviet Wings in their first tour of North America and the Sabres played perhaps their best game ever (an exhibition game unfortunately) en route to a 12-6 win. After the game, McNab and Rick Martin, as well as maybe others, said in interviews that they won this game for Canada. It was here that the anecdote was picked up in Punch Imlach's "Heaven and Hell in the NHL" book. Apparently Buffalo fans were incensed that McNab said he played this game for Canada and not for Buffalo, although guys like Martin, didn't hear anything. The boo-birds came out for McNab and he forced his way out of town...this according to Punch Imlach...and the rest is history.

RIP Peter. Although it didn't end well in Buffalo, you were a credit to hockey.

kinda the story of the sabres franchise vs the bruins franchise

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14 hours ago, Quint said:

Peter McNab was a promising Sabre in his rookie year ('74-75) when they went to the finals vs. Philly. The following year, the Sabres played the Soviet Wings in their first tour of North America and the Sabres played perhaps their best game ever (an exhibition game unfortunately) en route to a 12-6 win. After the game, McNab and Rick Martin, as well as maybe others, said in interviews that they won this game for Canada. It was here that the anecdote was picked up in Punch Imlach's "Heaven and Hell in the NHL" book. Apparently Buffalo fans were incensed that McNab said he played this game for Canada and not for Buffalo, although guys like Martin, didn't hear anything. The boo-birds came out for McNab and he forced his way out of town...this according to Punch Imlach...and the rest is history.

RIP Peter. Although it didn't end well in Buffalo, you were a credit to hockey.

NcNabb was in Punch’s doghouse for publicly defending the teams poor play  after the SC season.  He spoke out about the booing of the teams mediocre  play when expectations were then sky high. This is really what pissed off Punch.  He was traded to Boston for Andre Savard, a solid player, but McNabb was a better scorer. 

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5 hours ago, Pimlach said:

NcNabb was in Punch’s doghouse for publicly defending the teams poor play  after the SC season.  He spoke out about the booing of the teams mediocre  play when expectations were then sky high. This is really what pissed off Punch.  He was traded to Boston for Andre Savard, a solid player, but McNabb was a better scorer. 

That trade never made sense to me.  McNab was right - the team played through the hook-and-hold as best they could.

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22 hours ago, Quint said:

Peter McNab was a promising Sabre in his rookie year ('74-75) when they went to the finals vs. Philly. The following year, the Sabres played the Soviet Wings in their first tour of North America and the Sabres played perhaps their best game ever (an exhibition game unfortunately) en route to a 12-6 win. After the game, McNab and Rick Martin, as well as maybe others, said in interviews that they won this game for Canada. It was here that the anecdote was picked up in Punch Imlach's "Heaven and Hell in the NHL" book. Apparently Buffalo fans were incensed that McNab said he played this game for Canada and not for Buffalo, although guys like Martin, didn't hear anything. The boo-birds came out for McNab and he forced his way out of town...this according to Punch Imlach...and the rest is history.

RIP Peter. Although it didn't end well in Buffalo, you were a credit to hockey.

Welcome!!

I love Quint.  Robert Shaw was a fantastic actor.

Sent you beer Quint.

Too bad you never had a chance to get that bigger boat.

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7 hours ago, Pimlach said:

NcNabb was in Punch’s doghouse for publicly defending the teams poor play  after the SC season.  He spoke out about the booing of the teams mediocre  play when expectations were then sky high. This is really what pissed off Punch.  He was traded to Boston for Andre Savard, a solid player, but McNabb was a better scorer. 

Come on, Punch.  Go easy on the rookie.  

You should know how it all shook down, but I question your memory slightly since you don't even have Peter's name right.  Maybe age is catching up with you a bit, eh.

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4 hours ago, Marvin said:

That trade never made sense to me.  McNab was right - the team played through the hook-and-hold as best they could.

Well, considering that technically it wasn't even a trade.  They were both somehow FAs and just happened to sign w/ the other guy's former team on the same day.

Had really liked McNab when he was a Sabre and was really sad he got traded away.  One of many head scratches through the years.

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3 hours ago, Sabres Fan in NS said:

Come on, Punch.  Go easy on the rookie.  

You should know how it all shook down, but I question your memory slightly since you don't even have Peter's name right.  Maybe age is catching up with you a bit, eh.

Just a typo on his name so do not question my memory on this.   The Sabres did lay an egg the year after the Cup final and the fans wanted much more from them, like a SC win.  

Punch was mad at McNab, who was just a 2nd year guy, for speaking out to the press about fans booing.  If Punch ties it to the Russian game in his book and "playing for Canada" comments, well I do not remember that at all.  No other Sabre player got in trouble for that so there was much more to that trade. 

I probably went to almost every home game that year.   I can tell you the fans were a bit spoiled by this time, like they expected 5 goals a game, and the Sabres did hear boo birds for the first time ever.  For some reason young McNab felt compelled to speak out.  You cannot look at it through today's lens, Punch was old school.  Punch shipped Frank Mahavolich out of Toronto for less, he could easily trade McNab.  

I do think we lost that trade by a good margin.  Savard was a solid two-way player, but McNab had the size and goal scoring knack that was rare for a center at the time (see Phil Esposito) and still is today.  

In the spirit of being less crusty, I will remove my "disagree" emoji to @Quint, and say welcome to the boards Quint!   

RIP Peter McNab.  

Edited by Pimlach
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41 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Well, considering that technically it wasn't even a trade.  They were both somehow FAs and just happened to sign w/ the other guy's former team on the same day.

Had really liked McNab when he was a Sabre and was really sad he got traded away.  One of many head scratches through the years.

Yes, it was a head scratcher.   The teams traded "the rights" to McNab for the rights to Savard.     Not sure if free agency was that free back then.   

McNab, Alan Haworth, Ray Sheppard - all bad trades by the Sabres involving forwards that they developed and did not hold on to.  

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44 minutes ago, Pimlach said:

Yes, it was a head scratcher.   The teams traded "the rights" to McNab for the rights to Savard.     Not sure if free agency was that free back then.   

McNab, Alan Haworth, Ray Sheppard - all bad trades by the Sabres involving forwards that they developed and did not hold on to.  

That trade is the ONLY example of "FAs" moving from that era that comes to mind.

 

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48 minutes ago, Pimlach said:

Yes, it was a head scratcher.   The teams traded "the rights" to McNab for the rights to Savard.     Not sure if free agency was that free back then.   

McNab, Alan Haworth, Ray Sheppard - all bad trades by the Sabres involving forwards that they developed and did not hold on to.  

While McNabb went on to become a prolific scorer, don’t sell Savard short. He was a very good two way center and was actually what that team needed when that trade was made. Letting Dudley go to the WHA was a far bigger error.

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3 minutes ago, tom webster said:

While McNabb went on to become a prolific scorer, don’t sell Savard short. He was a very good two way center and was actually what that team needed when that trade was made. Letting Dudley go to the WHA was a far bigger error.

Savard was indeed a solid two-way player.  But we had Rammer and then we drafted Ric Seiling the following year for the same purpose (leaving Mike Bossey on the board), both of them played a similar game to Savard.  

A big center and natural goal scorer like McNab was much harder to find than a two-way center that scored 18 to 20 goals.  

Dudley was a huge loss.  I agree with that.  

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6 minutes ago, Pimlach said:

Savard was indeed a solid two-way player.  But we had Rammer and then we drafted Ric Seiling the following year for the same purpose (leaving Mike Bossey on the board), both of them played a similar game to Savard.  

A big center and natural goal scorer like McNab was much harder to find than a two-way center that scored 18 to 20 goals.  

Dudley was a huge loss.  I agree with that.  

I don’t want to sidetrack this thread, but I often imagine how different things might have been had they drafted Bossy.

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On 11/9/2022 at 6:38 AM, Quint said:

Peter McNab was a promising Sabre in his rookie year ('74-75) when they went to the finals vs. Philly. The following year, the Sabres played the Soviet Wings in their first tour of North America and the Sabres played perhaps their best game ever (an exhibition game unfortunately) en route to a 12-6 win. After the game, McNab and Rick Martin, as well as maybe others, said in interviews that they won this game for Canada. It was here that the anecdote was picked up in Punch Imlach's "Heaven and Hell in the NHL" book. Apparently Buffalo fans were incensed that McNab said he played this game for Canada and not for Buffalo, although guys like Martin, didn't hear anything. The boo-birds came out for McNab and he forced his way out of town...this according to Punch Imlach...and the rest is history.

RIP Peter. Although it didn't end well in Buffalo, you were a credit to hockey.

 

5 hours ago, Sabres Fan in NS said:

Welcome!!

I love Quint.  Robert Shaw was a fantastic actor.

Sent you beer Quint.

Too bad you never had a chance to get that bigger boat.


OK, this avatar absolutely has to be the new Islanders logo. Fantastic.

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18 hours ago, Pimlach said:

NcNabb was in Punch’s doghouse for publicly defending the teams poor play  after the SC season.  He spoke out about the booing of the teams mediocre  play when expectations were then sky high. This is really what pissed off Punch.  He was traded to Boston for Andre Savard, a solid player, but McNabb was a better scorer. 

I was only in my teens, and remember the trade, but I don’t recall the back story.   Thx. 👍🏻

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