February 08, 2016

Sean McKenna

An potent goal scorer who starred with the Sherbrooke Beavers of the QMJHL, Sean McKenna was drafted 54th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1980. He would carve out a 414 game career in the NHL as a useful role player.

McKenna was initially returned to junior after being drafted, and he turned in back to back 57 goal seasons. In 1982 he helped Sherbrooke reach the Memorial Cup tournament thanks to his 32 goals in 26 playoff contests. For his goal scoring exploits McKenna was presented the Stafford Smythe Memorial trophy as the MVP.

McKenna turned professional in 1982-83 and spent considerable time with the Sabres but ended the year tearing up the the AHL with the Rochester Americans. McKenna would stick in the NHL the following season, posting back to back 20 goal seasons while playing with Paul Cyr and Gilles Hamel.

The Sabres were spinning their wheels in the NHL standings, and decided to make some changes. McKenna was having a bad 1985-86 season, with just 6 goals in 45 games before the Sabres traded McKenna in a multi-player deal with the Los Angeles Kings. That trade also involved Larry Playfair, and saw Brian Engblom and young enforcer Ken Baumgartner become Sabres.

McKenna matured into a checking role for the Kings but the club deemed him disposable in December 1987, trading him to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Mike Allison. McKenna was a part time player for the Leafs and ended up spending half his time in the AHL with the Newmarket Saints before retiring in 1990.

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