The Buffalo Sabres, the most consistent National Hockey League team in the Toronto Region over the past 40 years, has enjoyed a storied history in a professional ‘small market’. Although the team has never taken home the ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup, every new year is a possibility with the product the Sabres put on the ice. Take a glance at the history of the Buffalo Sabres, by the numbers.
1 Hart Memorial Trophy winner. He did it twice. Goaltender Dominek Hasek won the Hart as the NHL’s most valuable player in two consecutive seasons, 1996-97 and 1997-98.
2 Trips to the Stanley Cup finals. Although they’ve yet to take home the hardware, the Sabres have been to the dance twice in their history. In 1974-75, just Buffalo’s fifth year in the NHL, the Sabres faced off against the Philadelphia Flyers in the finals. The Broad Street Bullies won the series in six games for their second consecutive Stanley Cup.
3 Hat Tricks by Eddie Shack in 1970-71. ‘The Entertainer’ was traded from the Los Angeles Kings eleven games into Buffalo’s inaugural season. Shack scored 25 goals for the Sabres that season, 36% of which came in just three games. Eddie’s stay in Buffalo was short. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins midway through the following season.
6 retired jersey numbers hang from the rafters at the First Niagara Center. The Buffalo Sabres retired numbers include: 2 – Tim Horton; 7 – Rick Martin; 11 – Gilbert Perreault; 14 – Rene Robert; 16 – Pat Lafontaine; 18 – Danny Gare.
8 players that have donned a Buffalo Sabres jersey at some point during their NHL career are now enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. These players include: Dick Duff, Grant Fuhr, Clark Gillies, Tim Horton, Gilbert Perreault, Dale Hawerchuk, Pat Lafontaine and Doug Gilmour.
53 wins represents Buffalo’s best season in that particular category. The Sabres won 53 in 2006-07. It was the second time the team had reached the 50 win plateau after winning 52 the year before.
76 goals for Alexander Mogilny in 1992-93 remains a team single season record. The total is the fifth highest in NHL history and Mogilny is one of just eight players to reach 70 goals and beyond. Alex played for Buffalo from 1988-89 to 1994-95.
148 points by Pat Lafontaine in 1992-93 is not only a Sabres team record but the highest point total ever produced by an American born player.
512 goals were scored by Gilbert Perreault during his career with the Sabres. This total leaves Perreault at the top of Buffalo’s all-time list and the same can be said for games played, assists and points. Gil is placed 37th all-time in the NHL for career goals scored and is one of just 41 players to reach the 500 goal plateau.
1970 was the year that saw the Buffalo Sabres play their first National Hockey League game. The team visited Pittsburgh for the first game of the 1970-71 season and walked away with a 2-1 victory over the Penguins. Buffalo entered the league that season, along with the Vancouver Canucks.