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.