My mindset was focused on maintaining a consistent level of play to succeed in the National Hockey League. Tony McKegney's birthday is on 15-Feb-1958 and was born on Saturday. - Premium Design on your profile page (optional) He was assigned to the Syracuse Firebirds, one of the Nordiques' farm teams, where he became a fan favourite. The more hockey lives up to those ideals, the better we'll all be. Only once has he played in fewer than 60 of the regular seasons 80 games. McKegney was supposed to play in the WHA for the Birmingham Bulls, but the team illegally voided his deal after fans in Alabama threatened a boycott. I've always been a player that plays on enthusiasm, and I was just losing my zest for the game.". Previously, in the early '80s, one of my team's assistant coaches advised me to start dating a Black woman instead of Sue for similarly ignorant and bigoted reasons. All Rights Reserved. He is vaguely aware of the recent push to change hockey culture. Go beyond the basics. Forward Born Feb 15 1958 -- Montreal, PQ [65 yrs. Enter Search Term. Still, I'd been thinking about that particular goal mark for a while. 8 9 25 25 10 7 14 11. Year By Year Fight Totals. Saunders scored twice in his debut, and it quickly became clear to Bassin he should have been playing at a higher level. If no results appear, use Enter to do a full site search. McKegney scored 31 goals in 1986-87, 29 of them after being traded to the New York Rangers. Former NHL forward Tony McKegney has been charged with impaired driving on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. That's how good he was.". Lightning | Game 61, Sabres Acquire Jordan Greenway, Austin Strand. He stayed through 1983 and was a regular almost all of the time. Saunders says he is happy and has had a good life, thanks in large part to the sport that broke his heart. Who was the first Black player to top 40 goals in an NHL season? / Special to, Stanley Cup Final | Avalanche vs. I didnt talk to many people about it. "I think for us growing and trying to make it into the NHL, guys like [Bernie], who help you and calm you at the right time, it was huge.". Of his 13 years in the NHL, he spent the most time with the Sabres. I don't talk much about the taunts and racial slurs I faced in youth and minor hockey. Born: February 15,1958 inMontreal,Quebec ca, Draft: Buffalo, 2nd round (32ndoverall), 1978NHLAmateur. The hockey portion and the support from teammates and my parents and other hockey parents all the way along got me through it. This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Tony McKegney. McKegney was born in Montreal, but was adopted soon thereafter, and raised by a white family in Sarnia, Ontario. 710K subscribers Tony McKegney is one of the pioneers of breaking the colour barrier within the NHL. At the age of 20, Tony signed a contract with the now defunct World Hockey Associations (WHA) team in Birmingham, Alabama only to see the owner illegally renege on the deal after fans threatened to boycott the team for having added a black player to its roster. Youre a great player. Tony McKegney. And I still struggle with that to this day, with the trauma that I faced and went through. I suppressed a lot of things over the years. Tony McKegney was born on February 15, 1958. Other blacks are forward Dirk Graham of the Minnesota North Stars, goaltender Eldon Pokey Reddick and forward Paul Neufeld of the Winnipeg Jets. - EP Contact Book listing of your profile (optional) Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. Hockey was like that for me -- I was constantly focused on numbers. So I did the only thing I could do: I focused on perseverance. Tony currently does periodic work on behalf of the Red Wings Alumni Association and the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team. He is to appear in court in Belleville, Ontario, on May 18. The year after he graduated, he had offers from a few teams. His older brother John was the first to lace up skates. It was a simple chip-in that just dribbled through the goalie's pads. Player stats broken down into various categories; i.e. Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - The Erie County District Attorney's Office announced on Monday that former Buffalo Sabres winger Tony McKegney was arraigned before a Buffalo City Court Judge back on. The Zamboni word mark and configuration of the Zamboni ice resurfacing machine are registered trademarks of Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc. Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc. 2023. * Some data is missing to provide a correct summary. Next, select your favourite teams and leagues and well show you their latest news and scores in the My Favourites section of the home page. All NHL team jerseys customized with NHL players' names and numbers are officially licensed by the NHL and the NHLPA. Its just something I never envisioned when I was growing up seeing five black hockey players playing in the same game. It's something that most Black players at the time trained themselves to do, even though we shouldn't have needed to. And between the benches, one of the guys said it would be termed as a black-on-black crime. TM: Its wonderful. Don't miss out - sign up for our newsletters! As a teenager he played Jr. 'B' hockey in Sarnia. It's not the 40 goals I scored. There was nothing special about the goal. Tony McKegney is a member of famous Ice Hockey list. Some may find that number low. After playing for Pickering, Saunders got a full scholarship to Western Michigan University and played there for four years. When search suggestions are available use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Logos were compiled by the amazing Use arrows to navigate between autocomplete results. He played four games with the Nordiques at the end of the 1979-80 season, the team's first season in the NHL. Or write about sports? While in Minnesota, he joined the late John Mariucci and Cal Peterson to form an inner-city hockey league for youths. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. But I cherish everything about that goal that found my stick in the last minute of the last game of my 1987-88 season with the St. Louis Blues. TM: No, not really. Comments are welcome while open. McKegney had been expected to sign with Birmingham of the World Hockey Association, but the deal fell through and he was taken by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round (No. And if those people were wrong about his future in hockey, what else might they be wrong about? Hes won Stanley Cups.. And it wasn't hard to find a different place to live in St. Louis, which is a wonderful city that I've always enjoyed. Bernie Saunders, one of the NHL's first black players, never thought he would find himself coaching youth hockey. A couple of weeks ago, Ron MacLean from Hockey Night in Canada gave the McKegney family a shout out during the Saturday night broadcast, recognizing McKegney as part of Black History month. I always said that the game is tough enough as it is just trying to survive and make it outside of having that stuff on the sidelines. by Amateur Teams: Kingston Canadians. Tony was born on February 15, 1958 in Montreal, Quebec.. Tony is one of the famous and trending celeb who is popular for being a Ice Hockey. Tony McKegney had 639 points over his career. Relatives: Brother Ian McKegney. Our reasoning for presenting offensive logos. He still remembers, almost 50 years later, the smile on Saunders's face when he was told he wasn't going back to his old team. And there was a ton of it, ugly stuff. It seemed very normal to me, and no one in our neighborhood or city really treated us any different, he said. We use cookies to improve your experience. Last seen in the 1992-1993 season with the San Diego Gulls (IHL). McKegney scored 37 goals in 1980-81. Manage all your favorite fandoms in one place! Drafted 1974, 1 #2 overall by Kingston Canadians in the OHL Priority Selection, Cult/Star player for Kingston Frontenacs. Sherry Bassin, 80, is a former junior hockey executive and another person who helped shape Saunders as a hockey player and a person. Hes had the most success. By checking this box, I agree to the terms of service and privacy policy of Rogers Media. We don't have much information about He's past relationship and any previous engaged. Never fully comfortable: Maple Leafs Kerfoot and the trade he dodged, Canucks commit to re-tooling over re-building with Hronek addition, On a career heater, Nugent-Hopkins four-point night helps Oilers ground Jets. I pride myself in being maybe the first black player to play consistently in the league, McKegney said. Tony played for the Buffalo Sabres for 5 years until June 8, 1983 when he was traded to the Quebec Nordiques along with Andre Savard, Jean-Francois Sauve and Buffalo's third-round choice in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for Real Cloutier and Quebec's first-round pick in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. He was released on his own recognizance by City Court. Closed Captioning and Described Video is available for many CBC shows offered on CBC Gem. Early Life and Family: Education: Tony McKegney Net Worth: Bernie Saunders played 10 games for the Quebec Nordiques, but he and others say his career would have been longer if he wasnt black. Thats the greatest compliments Ive received from the younger people. All rights reserved. His father eventually returned to Nigeria, and when Tony was a year old, he was adopted by the McKegneys, a white couple that lived in Sarnia, Ontario. Theres another occasion where Ray Neufeld and I got into a scuffle. Right before he went to college, Mike Marson and Bill Riley, the second and third black men in the NHL, made their debuts. He jumped to the AHLs Hershey Bears and then the Sabres, making his NHL debut in the 1978-79 season. McKegney was born in Montreal and adopted by a white family in Sarnia. So, for me, there were just so many good influences. It made me angry, made me sad. The conversation about black players in hockey is often a binary one even during Black History Month. And I said to myself, Geez, this is great. It was awesome to see these guys and theyre all good players. SN: When you were playing hockey as youngster, there werent many black faces for you to see when you watched NHL games on Saturday nights. In this article, we covered Tony McKegney's net worth, wiki, bio, career, height, weight, pics, family, affairs, car, salary, age, facts, and other details in 2022. The Montreal-born left wing was a big scorer in junior hockey, finishing with 135 points (58 goals . I remember the reporter asking me about growing up in a town where there were only two Black families among 50,000 people. They were there for me for the most part. To see your localized preferences, please enable geolocation services in your browser settings. He is a member of famous with the age 63 years old group. As a teenager, he played for Jr. 'B' hockey in Sarnia. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. Today, Tony McKegney, the first Black player to score 40 goals in an NHL season, tells his story of overcoming racial bias and serving as inspiration for Jarome Iginla, the only other Black player to hit the 40-goal milestone. Tony McKegney weighed 200 lbs (90 kg) when playing. Caught off balance, his foot went flying in the air. It's the number of Black players who have ever scored 40 goals in an NHL season. TM: It just made me want to be better. It was never published. Even now, when I tell the story of the 1987-1988 season, I use a lot of numbers to explain why the season turned out so special. The coach noticed Saunderscrying in the stands, wanting to be with John, and invited him to play, too. McKegney vividly recalls the support from his parents - Lowry McKegney, a retired chemist, and Cathy McKegney. Instead, he was drafted 32nd-overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1978 and went on to score over 320 goals. Just like society as a whole, the hockey community still has a lot of hard work to do. They were playing Ottawa and there were five black players in the game on the two teams combined. I remember I was tired when a shot from the point came my way. Why did you feel like that was necessary? Editor's note: As part of the NHL celebrating Black History Month throughout February, will present first-person essays by some of the game's key Black players and executives. Hockey made me gave me all the confidence in the world.". Jets on Sportsnet, Marchment, Pavelski end droughts as Stars dominate Avalanche, Cooper on benching Stamkos, Kucherov, Point: 'Weren't giving us the best chance to win', Bertuzzi sets up goal, Bruins stretch winning-streak in win over Rangers, Lightning fall to Sabres, bench Kucherov, Stamkos, Point for third period, {* backButton *} But on the. I was the second to be adopted, McKegney, a St. Louis Blues forward, said of the white family in Sarnia, Ontario, he became part of before he was 1 year old. Brother: Ian McKegney (Tony McKegney, the fourth black player, debuted in 1978). TM: We never really talked about it much. SN: When you got to the league was it a lonely existence for you? I was trying to convey something that I think is still true today: Sports can be the common denominator that brings people together. In retrospect, I can now see how it was an important milestone for people who look like me: No Black player had ever scored 40 goals in a season not until that game against Winnipeg, where a little chip-in ended up making history. His best season came with the St. Louis Blues in 1987-88, when he had NHL career highs of 40 goals and 78 points. He says he has moved on. After playing in 64 games for the Rangers, Tony was traded to the St. Louis Blues on May 28, 1987 along with Rob Whistle in exchange for Bruce Bell and future considerations. hockey player profile of Tony McKegney, 1958-02-15 Montral, QC, CAN Canada. He paved the way for me. Every Sports Reference Social Media Account, Site Last Updated: Saturday, March 4, 4:33AM. After playing for 15 years professionally, it was a hard transition and Im sure Ive made some mistakes and would do some things differently. He sat down with Donnovan Bennett to discuss the struggles, success and lessons that came. TM: I heard some stories about the tough guys like George Laraque, Peter Worrell and Donald Brashear, and apparently it was absolutely brutal for those guys in Quebec. In Tony's second stint in Quebec, he played in 98 games for the team until January 29, 1991 when he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Jacques Cloutier. Audience Relations, CBC P.O. But I know my brother took a lot more abuse than I did because I saw it. McKegney has remained in the NHL largely because of his skating skills, his durability and the steadiness he mentioned. He has a copy of a newspaper article following a game in Rochester, N.Y., that mentions a fan who heard people yelling the N-word at him all night. Saunders, 63, who now lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C., has since retired and written a book about his life. I loved basketball, football, baseball, golf. By midseason, people started to notice. So I found myself focused on a number, 40, throughout the last stretch of games. Another referee determined he made a kicking motion and gave him a match penalty. All Rights Reserved. Jets, Hockey Night in Canada: Maple Leafs vs. Canucks on Sportsnet, Hockey Night in Canada: Oilers vs. It brought back some ghosts and nightmares, memories for me, which I hadnt thought about in a while. "Tony McKegney showed me it was possible for someone like me to play in the NHL," future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla said in author Cecil Harris' book, "Breaking The Ice, The Black Experience in Professional Hockey." "He set the example. Then the Buffalo Braves were there, the basketball team. He decided to sign as a free agent with the Nordiques because he felt they would give him the best opportunity to play right away plus, he would be reunited with Demers. It appears the Sabres have made a few late deals. Following his time in Buffalo, he spent two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques, then made stops in Minnesota (North Stars), New York (Rangers), St. Louis and Detroit before finding his way back to Quebec. "It was just time. Pioneers like Willie O'Ree, Angela James and Grant Fuhr will be featured. It's the kind of impact that wins, losses, and point totals can't capture. TM: Everything. 'I loved the game, but the game didn't love me': How hockey shaped one of NHL's first black players on and off the ice | CBC News Loaded. 2023 Getty Images. There have been 93 black players in the NHL. Overall, his NHL career saw him appear in 912 regular season games and accrue 639 points. Years later, I found out I was one of the reasons why. Born 1958-02-15 in Montral, Quebec. He played six games and didn't score, but played well. Access the best of Getty Images with our simple subscription plan. Will the Sabres make some moves today to improve their post-season chances? I take my hat off to Grant. Tony McKegney Goal vs. Toronto 12/13/80 - YouTube 0:00 / 0:44 Tony McKegney Goal vs. Toronto 12/13/80 Disengage 1.53K subscribers Subscribe 947 views 8 years ago Tony McKegney ties the game. Some hockey portraits on this site are licensed from Images on Ice, Hockeys Photo Agency. * 21+ (19+ CA-ONT) (18+ NH/WY). He continued to score despite playing no more than three seasons with the same team for the rest of his career. Subscribe to Stathead Hockey: Get your first month FREEYour All-Access Ticket to the Hockey Reference Database. "I got a lot of feedback from people in Canada that they were accepted in the schoolyard or outdoor rink because they could point to me as being a person of color playing in the National Hockey League. by His first encounter with racism happened while he was playing junior hockey after his family moved to Ajax, Ont., during his senior year of high school. We only use official stats. Bassin knew Saunders was getting racist taunts, but said Saunders always handled it in stride and never let it get to him. Buy his book. I remember the dedication that my parents put into it when we were younger, driving us to rinks at 7 in the morning, he said. Watch our How-To Videos to Become a Stathead, Subscribe to Stathead and get access to more data than you can imagine. Any other third party trademarks or copyrights are the property of their respective owners. In fact, I think their parents were thinking about saying, Look, why dont you just go play soccer, because it was so bad as far as the remarks. While in Fredericton, he says the coach told him he may play a couple dozen games at the NHL level, but his main role would be to tutor the other players. People had a certain amount of respect for us athletically.. - Verification Badge on your profile, Post a scouting report/trivia/player comment in English (visible here). Saunders was born in Montreal in 1956. When the last road trip started, I thought about how meaningful it would be to end the season with a goal total that was a round number. He was coaching the Pickering Panthers, a Junior B team, when he suspended four players for breaking a rule and got four replacements from a lower-level team. TM: I had several concussions, so thats not been a good scenario for me. Bailey has appeared in three games with the Canucks this season and was placed on injured reserve on February 12 with an upper-body injury. He jumped to the AHL's Hershey. He is also aware of his role-model responsibilities as one of only five blacks currently playing in the league. SN: The numbers of black players at all levels has increased. He was following in the footsteps of his older brother Ian McKegney (who had been a star with the Sarnia Legionnaires before moving on to the pros). He played in St. Louis for two years. Organize, control, distribute and measure all of your digital content. "The theme for the next few days is clear: Hey Kevyn, the lonely eyes of Sabres fans are turned to you,"Mike Harrington writes. 1978 round 2 #32 overall by Buffalo Sabres, OMJHL I probably should have, and I never did that. It is a priority for CBC to create products that are accessible to all in Canada including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.
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