(Born on February 15, 1958) -- Tony McKegney was something of a pioneer in the world of hockey. There hadn’t been many blacks in the NHL when he arrived, but hopefully his talent made quite a few people color-blind.
McKegney was born in Montreal, but was adopted by a white family in Sarnia, Ont. He became a standout in hockey while playing junior, scoring 135 points in 66 games in 1976-77.
A year later, the left winger was ready to join the pros. He signed with the Birmingham Bulls of the World Hockey Association, but that news generated a great deal of hate mail, etc., in the South. The Bulls released McKegney from his contract, and he joined the Sabres as their second-round draft choice.
McKegney needed less than a season to join Buffalo during the 1978-79 campaign. He stayed through 1983 and was a regular almost all of the time. McKegney scored 37 goals in 1980-81. Then he was dealt to the Nordiques in a massive swap involving Quebec’s Real Cloutier.
McKegney spent less than two years with the Nordiques, and had several more stops around the NHL during the next several seasons. He even scored 40 goals for St. Louis in 1987-88. McKegney still does alumni work for the Sabres and Red Wings.
--- Budd Bailey