History--Paraphrased from source of information: sportsencyclopedia.comFind out where it all started...

How it Began...

In the 1970-71 season, two brothers, Seymour Knox III and Northrup Knox, constituted and inaugurated the Buffalo Sabres into the NHL. They wanted to continue the hockey fad brewing in Buffalo left behind by the Buffalo Bisons. Wanting to differentiate the team however, they established a name contest. Sabres won because of the weapon's all encompassing utility, praising good offensive and defensive combat, while withholding an aura of leadership. Starting off playing in the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium lead to favourable outcomes already. With the spin of a roulette wheel, the Sabres won the NHL draft lottery, immediately picking the center, Gilbert Perreault. Even with the Perreault's 38 rookie season goals, a record way back then, and achieving the Calder Memorial Trophy, the Sabres, unfortunately, did not make the playoffs, but still retained their morale.

In 1971-72, two more drafted players, Rick Martin and Rene Robert, joined Perreault to create the unorthodox group nicknamed the "French Connection". These three front lines power-housed through to the playoffs for the first time in the 1972-73 season. This was much to the dismay of the Montreal Canadiens, who did not have the impeding right for the first time over Quebecois junior players, thus benefitting the Sabres. However, the Canadiens got their payback in the quarterfinals, beating the Sabres and going on to win the Stanley cup that season.

How it Continued...

1974 was rough, but things got better from there, with an overall NHL record in the 1974-1975 season. The team wound up in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time against the Philadelphia Flyers. In game three of the series, there was an unusually dense fog surrounding the whole arena, shrouding the players in mist, obscuring their vision. The Sabres won that game, in no part due to Jim Lorentz swatting a bat flying around the arena, the first and only time an animal was killed in a NHL game. The Flyers eventually won in the series, 4-2 games. The Sabres didn't reach the finals again through the 1970s, however, they won a conference championship and were the first to beat the Soviet Olympic Team, who were touring the U.S.

Looking Forward...

In 1955-96, Ted Nolan became the new coach, and took no time in complimenting the Sabres as the "hardest-working team in hockey". The Sabres had, on average, only 13 000 fans in the Memorial Auditorium that season, however the fans were speculated as being the loyal fans of any NHL hockey team that season as well. In sticking with the movie references, Brad Ray, Rob Ray, and Matthew Barnaby were nicknamed "The Hanson Brothers" from the hockey movie Slapshot. Also Randy Burridge, a veteran player, wet through the training-camp and eventually made it on the roster. He scored 25 goals that season and obtained the Tim Horton Award and was voted MVP. This lead on a whole slew of achievements in the 1996-97 season. The Sabres won their division title, Nolan won the Jack Adams Award, Dominik Hasek won the Hart and Vezina trophies, Michael Peca won the Frank J. Selke trophy as best defensive forward, and John Muckler achieved the Executive of the Year honour.

"The Fog Game is the game of War"

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1971 team picture.







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