Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rick Meagher

Rick Meagher was a very unheralded player for 15 pro seasons, 11 of which were in the NHL on a full time basis. In fact many people didn't even know who he was until the 1989-90 season when he won the Frank J. Selke trophy as the NHL's premier defensive forward.

Meagher was definitely a worthy of recipient of the award. He made a career of covering the NHL's superstars.

"He puts a blanket on them" said Blues general manager Ron Caron. "He's got the speed and the tenacity."

Meagher had speed to burn. In an era dominated by speed, Meagher was probably in the top 5% of the NHL's best skaters. Meagher also was a smart hockey player. He had good anticipation skills which helped him excel defensively. Meagher wasn't totally without offensive skills. He scored a career high 24 goals in 1981-82, and 144 goals in his career. Meagher wasn't an offensive wizard by any stretch, but he was so valuable as a penalty killer, faceoff man and defensive specialist he just never really had the opportunity to take an offensive role on the team.

What Meagher really lacked was size. He was only 5'8" 175lbs though some publications list him as high as 195lbs. Because of his size he wasn't an overly physical player but as Caron described him he was tenacious though he took very few penalties.

Rick Meagher was never drafted by an NHL team. He played for 4 years at Boston University, which at the time wasn't considered to be a high level of hockey, at least in comparison to today's NCAA. He was an all star every year at BU and was named to the NCAA championship all tournament team in 1977.

The Montreal Canadiens signed the speedster as a free agent in 1977 but he only played for the Habs in 2 games, spending the rest of the next 3 years in the minor leagues. Montreal sent him to the Hartford Whalers in a swap of draft picks deal prior to the 1981 Entry Draft. He split the 1980-81 season with the Whalers and their minor league team, but by 1981-82 he became a full time NHLer. Rick found himself on the move again after just 4 games in Hartford in the 1982-83 season. The Whalers traded him and Garry Howatt for Merlin Malinowski and Scott Fusco. Rick enjoyed almost 3 full seasons in the swamp lands of Jersey.

On August 29, 1985, Meagher was traded to St. Louis for tough guy Perry Anderson. It was in St. Louis where Meagher really found his niche as a penalty killer and defensive force. He was even named captain for the 1989-90 season.

Meagher retired in the 1990-91 season. He retired with 144 goals, 165 assists and 309 points in 691 games.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP