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Andre Savard & Peter McNab transaction

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#1 Marvelo

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 03:24 PM

Backstory from the history books about a controversial Sabres deal...

 

One of the biggest busts when it came to Sabre trades was when Peter McNabb was peddled to the Bruins for Andre Savard in 1976. McNabb was a budding star for the Sabres who became a great goal scorer for the Bruins while Savard became a mediocrity for the Sabres.  

 

I revisted the 1976 Buffalo-Soviet exhibition game that the Sabres won 12-6 and noticed at the end that McNabb was interviewed and he said that he was playing for the people of Canada... did not even mention playing this game for the people of Buffalo.

 

Funny thing is Rick Martin was also interviewed and also said he was playing 100 percent for Canada and also never mentioned playing for the city of Buffalo...  

 

Something clicked and I picked up the Punch Imlach book "Heaven and Hell in the NHL" and found this passage:

 

 

Oddly enough, there was also a negative result from our great Soviet game. It seemed innocent enough at the time, but it started something. Peter McNabb said on television right after we'd beaten the Soviets that he and the others were playing that game 100 percent for Canada. Some Buffalo fans took offence. I know it wasn't meant that way. Normally, Buffalo fans are the best. Later that season, McNabb was booed. He was playing his option year and because of the boos over something he'd thought was completely natural, he decided he didn't want to play in Buffalo anyymore. That June of 1976 Bostn had a player Andre Savard, one of their first round draft choices, who didn't want to sign again with Boston. I talked it over with Harry Sinden, the Boston general manager. We decided that if he could sign McNabb, and we could sign Savard, we'd do it. It wasn't a trade as some people have called it It was simply a mutual accomodation. 


Edited by Marvelo, 18 January 2018 - 04:00 PM.


#2 Mick O’Manly

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:06 PM

Interesting.

McNab certainly produced more, but Savard was hardly a mediocrity.
Pretty well balanced third line centre in my views.

#3 Marvelo

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:23 PM

Interesting.

McNab certainly produced more, but Savard was hardly a mediocrity.
Pretty well balanced third line centre in my views.

 

Savard was good  https://www.hockey-r.../savaran01.html

 

McNab was near great: https://www.hockey-r.../mcnabpe01.html

 

in the end, neither won cups.

 

But it's a good example where fans alienated a star player to change teams.



#4 Sabersfläkt i NS

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:33 PM

I remember when Savard scored against the Nords in the playoffs on year.  It was a highlight.



#5 Anordning

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:43 PM

I remember when Savard scored against the Nords in the playoffs on year.  It was the highlight.

 

fify



#6 GASabresIUFAN

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:49 PM

The move that really changed our fate was drafting Seiling over Bossy.

#7 Anordning

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:50 PM

Ugh.



#8 Kruppstahl

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:50 PM

Andre Savard was a Sabre on the earliest teams I remember as a kid. 

 

Interesting story about the mutual accommodation.



#9 Marvelo

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 02:30 PM

One thing that got people riled up was that the Sabres organization refused to play the Canadian national anthem before the game. They played the US and Soviet but took out the Canadian, citing television obligations. This omission was followed by a lot of booing from the fans and as it played out, the players were also angry. After the game both Martin and McNab said they and the team played the game for Canada and didn't mention the US or Buffalo...


Edited by Marvelo, 19 January 2018 - 08:59 PM.


#10 Fransk Kollektion

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 03:32 PM

The move that really changed our fate was drafting Seiling over Bossy.


This shows how tough predicting a draft can be. I believe 12 other teams passed on Bossy as well.

#11 PASabreFan

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 07:54 PM

I hadn't ever considered Canada's role in the Cold War. Is that why the players were "playing for Canada"? I know about the Summit Series in 1972, but Canada won that.



#12 Marvelo

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 08:54 PM

The only reason I can think of why these Sabres and the team said that they were playing for Canada (and not for the city of Buffalo) is because they're from Canada and that's what they consider themselves loyal to. Maybe if the players were from Buffalo, they'd be playing for the city of Buffalo only too.

 

It's something to think about even now...who are the players really loyal to? 


Edited by Marvelo, 20 January 2018 - 07:28 AM.


#13 Mick O’Manly

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 10:13 PM

I hadn't ever considered Canada's role in the Cold War. Is that why the players were "playing for Canada"? I know about the Summit Series in 1972, but Canada won that.


72 summit series is generally considered a watershed moment in terms of Canadian national identity - not just sports, but overall and I think those feelings were incredibly fresh.

As far Canada in the Cold War:
http://www.thecanadi...ticle/cold-war/

#14 Fransk Kollektion

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 10:14 PM

Back then the majority of players in the league were Canadian.

Our military contribution in the Cold War was never huge as we spend very little of our GDP on defense. We were heavily involved in early warning systems because the shortest distance to the USA was over the North Pole and through our air space.

Those hockey battles were "war" because it was our game and these guys were trying to take over.

#15 calti

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 12:45 AM

This shows how tough predicting a draft can be. I believe 12 other teams passed on Bossy as well.

joe montana, tom brady...the list goes on...


Savard was good  https://www.hockey-r.../savaran01.html

 

McNab was near great: https://www.hockey-r.../mcnabpe01.html

 

in the end, neither won cups.

 

But it's a good example where fans alienated a star player to change teams.

I liked savard he was a gritty player.He was hurt for a couple yrs. When he was healthy he scored very well. McNabb was a gifted scorer/skill player who had good size-esp for that time.



#16 Tondas

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 08:08 AM

Just a quick boyhood memory of Savard.  Back when the Sabres practiced at the newly built Tonawanda Rec Center in NT  (mid 70's), they also built out a workout room off the main lobby for the players.   My buddy and I would see all the players.  Out of all the players, Savard was the most chiseled, anvil-shaped athlete I  had ever seen.  The guy was built.  Back then, half the guys were smoking cigarettes as they left the workout room.  Andre stood out and looked the part of a pro.



#17 bob_sauve28

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 09:28 AM

The thing I most remember Savard from is being on the ice when Brad Park scored in game 7 of OT in 1983. The next day Larry Norton on 97 Rock was complaining Savard didn't throw himself in front of the puck. That's all I got

#18 matter2003

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 01:20 AM

Savard was good  https://www.hockey-r.../savaran01.html

 

McNab was near great: https://www.hockey-r.../mcnabpe01.html

 

in the end, neither won cups.

 

But it's a good example where fans alienated a star player to change teams.

 

Back in those days great was 110 points in a season...or more...