Sunday, May 19, 2013

Welcome

Gerry Meehan is a former National Hockey League player and executive. Meehan contributed to six NHL teams over his 14-year career -- and then had a successful run in the Sabres' front office. While you can get basic information from Wikipedia and other sites, this site features rare memorabilia from my personal collection. I'm always looking for other unusual items, so please feel free to contact me.

"...Bring Back Meehan"?

On his Buffalo Sabres Now blog, blogger "Moto" reflects on his "first real memory as a Sabres fan, and one of the greatest...when captain Gerry Meehan scored the game-winning goal with :04 left. Buffalo had eliminated Philadelphia from the playoffs with a 3-2 victory. I can still remember the excitement I felt, running around the kitchen 'Meehan! Meehan!'" (See post below for more on that historic goal.)

In an April 24 post titled "Maybe It's Time to Bring Gerry Meehan Back into the Fold," Moto reflects on his successful run as GM -- the team made the playoffs all seven years he was in charge -- and wonders if he'd consider a return. "Bringing in Meehan could certainly help this organization on a number of levels," he suggests. "First off, hiring Meehan would further enhance [owner Terry] Pegula's reputation for healing strained relations with former players. One only need look at Rene' Robert coming back into the fold, and the French Connection reunion at his first home game as owner, as a major step towards bringing all Sabres together....Pegula needs a trusted voice to be the face of his hockey operations. A voice they can connect with once again. It's not uncommon for an owner to go after a former player. The player, of course, knows the culture of the team and the area and also has a finger on the pulse of both the fans and media.


"Meehan has had fairly recent success and his roots in Buffalo stretch all the way back to the Sabres formative years with Punch Imlach. It also encompasses the genesis of Pegula's love of hockey dating back to the 70's, initially with the Broad Street Bullies, then with the French Connection soon after. 
Those are the roots of Buffalo Sabres hockey. Meehan also has ties with and/or bridges three exciting times for the franchise, from the French Connection to the offensive juggernaut of Lafontaine and Mogilny to 'the hardest working team in hockey.' "

"Even if his career as a lawyer is still going strong, maybe there's a sense of unfinished business in hockey, and more specifically with the Sabres. And with Buffalo in need of a hockey guy, I don't think there's a Sabres fan anywhere who would dislike Meehan coming back into the fold and taking the reigns of the hockey department. 
Wonder if he's interested?"

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Historic Goal That Made Meehan a "Flyer Killer"

Today's New York Times featured an interview with Ed Snider, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers. One of the reporter's questions was this painful reminder:
"In 1972, Gerry Meehan of the Buffalo Sabres scored a goal with four seconds left in the season finale that knocked your team out of the playoffs. Clarke told me you went down into the dressing room after the game and told the players, 'Don’t worry, we’ll be the stronger for this.' True story?"

You can read the interview and his response here -- but more important, watch Meehan's most historic goal in this video:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

1993 Photo


A rare addition to the Gerry Meehan Archives, this is an original, authentic photo from the Sporting News Collection. It was taken in 1993 when Meehan was general manager of the Sabres, by Bruce Bennett. See some of Bennett's other hockey photos here.

The John Rogers Photo Archive is the largest privately owned collection of photographic images (more than 33 million). For more information, visit the Rogers Photo Archive.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Great Photo

Rich Sander sent me this cool photo of Gerry Meehan and a young fan. He writes: "It was taken on my cell phone at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Sabres last year. They had a great exhibit at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (in Buffalo)." This is a classic photo that I had never seen. Thanks, Rich!

Can anyone help me identify the original photographer? It looks like "David Schofig..."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Team Photos Added

If you've seen this blog before, don't miss my collection of team photos from the Toronto Marlboros, Tulsa Oilers, Seattle Totems, Buffalo Sabres, Atlanta Flames, and Washington Capitals. And if you have any team photos that aren't here, please let me know.

Spotted in the Crowd

At October's 2010 Caps Convention, a preseason gathering of Capitals fans, I was spotted wearing my Gerry Meehan jersey by a blogger who reported on the event. Bill the blogger at Shine Silently snapped this photo and reported: "At games and events like this you always see the Ovechkin #8, the Hunter #32, or Kolzig #37 jerseys, to name a few. Gerry Meehan came over in a trade with the Atlanta Flames in 1976. I even saw someone with a Dean Youngblood jersey from the movie Youngblood, starring Rob Lowe."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Meehan Enters Etobicoke Hall of Fame

On Oct. 26, 2010, Gerry Meehan was inducted into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame. He was inducted with fellow NHL star Brendan Shanahan. According to an article from InsideToronto.com:

"After a solid playing career, Meehan became general manager of the Buffalo Sabres and selected Pierre Turgeon with the first overall pick in the 1987 entry draft, instead of highly touted prospect Brendan Shanahan. Meehan said that choosing between the playmaking Turgeon and the power forward from Mimico was 'the toughest decision I ever made in my life... I think we made the right choice, but I can't be sure.'

" 'Growing up in Toronto and being a big Maple Leafs fan, I hated the Buffalo Sabres,' Shanahan later told Meehan, as the crowd chuckled. 'You made the right pick.' "

In this photo, Meehan is the next to last on the right, next to Shanahan who's on the end. Read more at the Hall of Fame's website.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Photos

Toronto Marlboros, Ontario Hockey Association, 1966

Toronto Marlboros, Ontario Hockey Association, 1966

Seattle Totems, Western Hockey League, 1969-70


Toronto Maple Leafs, 1968-69






Toronto Maple Leafs, 1968-69


Philadelphia Flyers, 1968-69






Buffalo Sabres, 1970-71


Buffalo Sabres, 197?

Buffalo Sabres, 1972


Buffalo Sabres, signed, 197?

signed photo, 197?




Vancouver Canucks, 1974-75

Vancouver Canucks, 1974-75

Atlanta Flames, 1975-76

Washington Capitals, 1976-77

Washington Capitals, 1977-78

Rare and Signed Cards

Uncut Strip
This is super-rare uncut strip of three cards from the 1972-73 Topps hockey card set. It was purchased directly from the Topps Vault.


Autographed Cards
Click on photo for larger image.


Stickers
Clockwise from upper left: 1974-75 Loblaws Action Stamp, 1971-72 Sargent Promotions Stamp, 1970-71 Sargent Promotions Stamp, and 1970-71 Esso Power Plays.


Even rarer is this 1974-75 Loblaw's sticker below showing Meehan as a Vancouver Canuck. The original 324-card set included Meehan as a Buffalo Sabre, but he was traded to Vancouver after playing just three games. Look at the two stickers below -- like most of the stickers in the update set, this photo was airbrushed to make it look like he was wearing a Canucks jersey. But you can see it's a close-up of the original photo.

Postcards

Buffalo Sabres Postcard, 1972-73, photo by Robert Shaver


Buffalo Sabres Postcard, 1973-74, photo by Robert Shaver


Buffalo Sabres Postcard, 1970s

Action Photos

Taking a Tumble
This original photo of Meehan and Terry Crisp of the St. Louis Blues has the following note handwritten on the back: "This photo was 70-71 season. Won 3rd prize in NHL Hall of Fame contest." This was also used for the cover of the 1971-72 Sabres yearbook.

Catching the Roadrunner
Here is an original photo by Robert Shaver of Meehan trying to hold up Yvan Cournoyer of the Montreal Canadiens. Nicknamed "The Roadrunner," Cournoyer played from 1963 to 1979 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982.
Interference
Original photo by Robert Shaver of Meehan being blocked by the Los Angeles Kings' Bob Woytowich. This is from the 1971-72 season, because Woytowich played only 36 games for the Kings, and they were all in that season. Handwriting on the back says "Winnepeg" (sic), but while Woytowich played three seasons for the Jets after leaving the Kings, the uniform on the left is clearly the Kings, and the Jets played in the WHA.


Upended
As an Atlanta Flame, Meehan is upended against the Los Angeles Kings. The culprit appears to be Kings defenseman Neil Komadoski (#23).

Up the Ice
Original 5x7 photo from 1976 by Jerry Wachter. In the background is goalie Bernie Wolfe.

Celebration
Original photo of Meehan celebrating a goal against the Minnesota North Stars. The photographer's name is on the front and back, but I can't read it.

One on Three
As an Atlanta Flame, pictured with Andy Savard, Dallas Smith, and Gilles Gilbert of the Boston Bruins, Oct. 21, 1975. Original photo obtained from the Boston Globe.


Taking on the Canadiens
This 1975 AP photo shows Meehan with the Atlanta Flames. The caption reads: "ATLANTA, Nov. 25 -- FLAMEOUT -- Montreal Canadiens' Pierre Bouchard (26) blocks a shot on goal by Atlanta Flames' Gerry Meehan (10) during the 1st period of Tuesday night's game in Atlanta. Canadiens goals Ken Dryden (29) watches the puck fly past."


Nice Sideburns
This lower quality AP photo is from 1973. "BUFFALO, N.Y., Feb. 12 -- EDWARDS SAVES -- Roy Edwards comes out of the goal to make a save against Gerry Meehan of the Buffalo Sabres. Helping out for the Detroit Red Wings is Gary Bergman (2)."


Vs. Mikita
Meehan faces off against Chicago Blackhawk great Stan Mikita. Original photo by Robert Shaver.


Buffalo Sabres
Autographed photo, by Robert Shaver.


Sabres vs. Flyers

One That Missed
From Oct. 19, 1973, the caption of this AP photo reads: "Buffalo Sabres forward Gerry Meehan, No. 15, watches his shot slide by the goal and get covered by Los Angeles Kings goalie Gary Edwards. Kings defenseman Larry Brown follows the play. The Sabres won the contest, 6-2, to take the first home victory of the NHL season."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Magazines

Buffalo ’72: Maple Leaf Gardens Sports Magazine, vol. 4, no. 2, Oct. 16, 1971


1971-72 Buffalo Sabres Yearbook


Buffalo Sabres Hockey Magazine, Sabres vs. Philadelphia Flyers, Sept. 30, 1972


Goal magazine, Buffalo Sabres vs. Minnesota North Stars, March 31, 1974

Rare and Odd

One-of-a-Kind
In August 1989, the Topps Company opened its "vault" to auction off unique items like the original cartoons drawn for the 1971-72 series of hockey cards. I was lucky enough to get the cartoon for Meehan's card.


And this is the original cartoon for the Topps 1976-77 card.

1968-69 Tulsa Oilers Schedule
I just found this 40-year-old schedule, printed on heavy paper stock -- the oldest item in my collection, featuring Meehan as a Tulsa Oiler.


Toronto St. Michael's Majors Ticket
During the 1997-98 season, the Toronto St. Michael's Majors (of the Ontario Hockey League) honored alums on their tickets. Meehan was featured on the ticket for a game against Oshawa on Dec. 4, 1997 at St. Michael's Arena. After the 1961-62 season, St. Michael's College discontinued its hockey program, and the Toronto St. Michael's Majors team transferred to Neil McNeil High School, becoming the Toronto Neil McNeil Maroons. In 1962-63, Meehan helped the team finish first in the Metro Junior A league. The 1997-98 season marked the team's return to junior hockey after more than 35 years.


Linnett Sketch
8.5 x 11 sketch by Charles Linnett, 1973. Text reads "Officially licensed by the NHL Players Association and by NHL Services, Inc. All rights reserved by Charles Linnett Studios, Inc., Walpole, Mass. 02081."


This is the photo the sketch was based on, with a handwritten misspelling of "Gerry."



Buffalo Evening News Insert
This full-page foldout poster was an insert in the Buffalo Evening News on Jan. 13, 1973.


Signed Hockey Banquet Flyer
On May 5, 1973, Gerry Meehan was the guest speaker at a hockey banquet for the Massena Minor Hockey league, held at Holy Family High School. Someone who attended got his autograph and years later contributed it to my collection. Massena is a tiny town in upstate New York, along the St. Lawrence River, and despite a population of less than 12,000, Massena Minor Hockey and Massena Red Raider High School Hockey have produced several state championship teams.


1971-72 Toronto Sun Insert
During the 1971-72 season, the Toronto Sun included inserts of NHL players -- 5x7 pages with two holes punched, I guess so you could keep them in a binder. Bio information is on the back. These are very fragile, since they are on newspaper stock.


Off the Ice, 1980s
In 1984, Meehan became the first former Buffalo Sabre to take a front-office position with the team. He served as assistant general manager under coach and general manager Scotty Bowman. During the 1986–87 season, Bowman stepped down, and Meehan was promoted to general manager. In 1993, Meehan was named executive vice president of sports operations, and he resigned in December 1994.