As an older boy young teenager in the early to mid-seventies I was fiercely loyal to the players drafted by the Sabres and one such player was Peter McNab who my boys selected in the sixth round 85th overall during the 1972 NHL amateur draft (also drafted by the New York Raiders of the WHA that same year).
It was different to see an American college player drafted by Buffalo Mr. McNab played for a Denver team in the WCHA consistently scoring more points than games played and fortunately for the Sabres after Mr. McNab entered Denver on a baseball scholarship he ultimately made the Men’s Hockey team.
Mr. McNab is best known for his eight seasons as a Boston player scoring 30 to 40 goals for six consecutive years while contributing to two Stanley Cup Finals runs, he also spent parts of two seasons with Vancouver and the New Jersey Devils.
I fondly remember Mr. McNab as one of the players contributing to Buffalo’s magical Cup run during the 74-75 campaign as a solid 20 goal scorer that chipped in a couple of goals and a half-dozen assists during the playoffs.
As a younger fan, I could not fathom why the following season when the Sabres stalled in the Quarter Finals the two times 20 goals scorer Mr. McNab was traded away the next year for a player that in three full seasons in Boston could not crack 20 goals.
Interestingly the trade between Buffalo and Boston was the first time in NHL trade history where two unsigned UFAs were traded, signed, and played for the team they were traded to.
Mr. McNab played in three Stanley Cup Finals during the 1970s with Buffalo and Boston and his father Max McNab won his Stanley Cup as a Detroit Red Wing in the 1950s and was the General Manager in New Jersey when his son Pete was signed as a free agent.
One of the least penalized players in the 1970s during an era of bench-clearing brawls and competing against teams with roving “policemen” that “enforced” player safety, Mr. McNab earned four penalty minutes in 79 games during the 1977-78 season garnishing him second place in the Lady Byng voting.
Astonishingly during the 1979 season when this two time Lady Byng finalist would earn 10 PIMs all year gets himself suspended six games the day after Christmas for going into the stands and fighting Rangers fans in Madison Square Garden.
Behind the scenes Owners, General Managers, Coaches, Scouts, Agents and other associates determine the fate of the players, their contracts and ultimately where and who they play for, but this long ago young naïve fan sadly could not understand why this player had to be traded?