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Maloney Looks Back at 1978 NHL Draft

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers


Rangers Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Player Personnel Don Maloney was selected by the Blueshirts in the second round (26th overall) in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft - a speedy, grinding left winger out of Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey Association.

The event, which took place in Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel, resulted in a total of 234 players selected, including several players who would don the red, white and blue of the Rangers shortly thereafter - Dave Silk (fourth round, 59th overall), Andre Dore (fourth round, 60th overall), Tom Laidlaw (sixth round, 93rd overall) and Steve Weeks (10th round, 176th overall).

Recently, Maloney, whose older brother Dave was a first round selection of the Rangers four years earlier, took some time to reflect on his Draft Day experience in 1978.

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"At that time, the Draft was held in Montreal and Alan Eagleson was my agent," Maloney reflected. "A bunch of us hopped on a train and headed up to Montreal for the Draft. It wasn't anywhere near the production that it is now. They basically had all of the team managers up at the front of a big ballroom. There may have been a couple of hundred people there in total. As a player was drafted, they basically called the guy's name out and that was it. It wasn't as it is today where the player is paraded up to the stage and poses for a ton of photos. They called your name, congratulated you and then you basically said, 'Great, now let's go.'"

"In that Draft, the only team I really wanted to go to was the Rangers. The interesting part for me, at the time, was prior to the Draft, (Rangers General Manager) John Ferguson was in charge up until about a week before. I thought the Rangers definitely had some interest in me, coming from my brother Dave (who was drafted by the Rangers in the first round in the 1974 NHL Draft) - I wasn't sure if that was going to work for me or against me. When John Ferguson was let go by the Rangers a week before the 1978 Draft, I didn't know where I stood with them quite frankly. But it was the same group of scouts in place there and they made a deal with their first round pick, so I was, needless to say, thrilled when they called my name in the second round."

"Basically they called my name and I remember going up and shaking a couple of hands and then got on the train and I went back home. Again, it really wasn't the same kind of grand production that the Draft has become today."

"Dave was actually there with me in Montreal that day, which was a nice thing. To both be drafted by the same team was something that was pretty special at the time and still is today."
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