Peter McNab

Peter McNab
Born (1952-05-08) May 8, 1952
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight 210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres
Vancouver Canucks
New Jersey Devils
National team  United States
NHL Draft 85th overall, 1972
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 19731987

Peter Maxwell McNab (born May 8, 1952) is an American former professional ice hockey player who appeared in 954 National Hockey League (NHL) regular season games between 1973 and 1987.


Amateur career

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, McNab spent his early childhood in British Columbia before moving to San Diego, California at age 14, where his father was head coach of the minor-league San Diego Gulls. Peter initially excelled as a baseball player; he entered the University of Denver (DU) on a baseball scholarship and later made the hockey team, becoming an all-WCHA selection in 1973. In the early 1970s NCAA players rarely made it to the National Hockey League, but McNab was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres while playing forward for the DU Pioneers in 1972.

Professional career

McNab led the Cincinnati Swords of the American Hockey League (AHL) in scoring in 1973–74, despite just playing in 49 of 76 games, and debuted with Buffalo that same season. While with Buffalo, he scored his first NHL goal on December 15, 1973, against the Minnesota North Stars.

After a trip to the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals, McNab was traded to the Boston Bruins. He enjoyed the best years of his NHL career in Boston, scoring at least 35 goals and 75 points six seasons in a row and playing in the 1977 NHL All-Star Game. He twice scored a playoff overtime winning goal. On December 23, 1979, during a game at Madison Square Garden in New York, McNab, teammate Mike Milbury, and several other Bruins climbed into the stands to confront fans. McNab engaged in a physical confrontation with one fan, and was soon joined by Milbury, who removed the fan's shoe and proceeded to strike the fan with the shoe at least once. On April 9, 1981, North Stars goaltender Don Beaupre stopped a McNab penalty shot, the penalty shot ever taken by a member of the Bruins in a playoff game. Today, McNab is among the team's top 10 leaders in goals, points and playoff scoring.

The Bruins traded McNab to the Vancouver Canucks in 1984; he played in Vancouver for two seasons before signing with the New Jersey Devils, for whom his father Max was the general manager at the time. He also made his international debut for Team USA at the 1986 Ice Hockey World Championship tournament in Moscow. He retired from professional hockey at the end of the 1986–87 season after playing two seasons in New Jersey.

Post playing career

After retiring, McNab began his broadcasting career as a color analyst for the Devils starting in the 1987–88 season. After eight years broadcasting on SportsChannel for the Devils, he moved to Colorado for the inaugural season of the Colorado Avalanche. He was also a TV announcer on NBC as an analyst on NHL on NBC during the 2006 Winter Olympic games in Torino, Italy, and as a colour analyst on TNT for the Olympic games in Nagano, Japan. He also served as TSN’s studio analyst and host for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.

On June 8, 2009, McNab signed a multi-year deal with Altitude, where he started his 14th season as color commentator for the Colorado Avalanche at the beginning of the 2009-2010 NHL season.

Awards and honors

Award Year
All-WCHA First Team 1972–73 [1]
All-NCAA All-Tournament Team 1973 [2]

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1973–74Cincinnati SwordsAHL493439731652680
1973–74Buffalo SabresNHL223692
1974–75Buffalo SabresNHL532221438172684
1975–76Buffalo SabresNHL792432561680000
1976–77Boston BruinsNHL8038488611145382
1977–78Boston BruinsNHL79413980415811192
1978–79Boston BruinsNHL7635458010115380
1979–80Boston BruinsNHL74403878101086142
1980–81Boston BruinsNHL803746832433030
1981–82Boston BruinsNHL80364076191168146
1982–83Boston BruinsNHL7422527423153584
1983–84Boston BruinsNHL5214163010
1983–84Vancouver CanucksNHL131671030000
1984–85Vancouver CanucksNHL7523254810
1985–86New Jersey DevilsNHL7119244314
1986–87New Jersey DevilsNHL46812208
NHL totals 954 363 450 813 179 107 42 40 82 20

Personal life

McNab belongs to one of ice hockey's most prominent families. His father Max McNab was a journeyman center who won the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 1950. Max's long career as a player and coach was honored by his hometown of Watson, Saskatchewan, where a recreational park is named after him. Peter's brother David was an NHL scout and is now Assistant G.M. of the Anaheim Ducks.


  1. "WCHA All-Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  2. "NCAA Frozen Four Records" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-06-19.
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