Thursday, March 20, 2014

NHL Hockey Trivia: Buffalo Sabres

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The Buffalo Sabres have been in the National Hockey League for over forty years, entering the league for the 1970-71 season. In that time, they have yet to win the Stanley Cup but have been to the finals on two different occasions. Although the franchise is going through a rough stretch as of the 2013-14 season, the team does have a storied past housing players like Eddie Shack, Tim Horton, Pat Lafontaine, Gilbert Perreault and Alex Mogilny, among others.

Test and expand your hockey trivia knowledge with these four trivia questions focused on the Buffalo Sabres.

Q. When the Buffalo Sabres joined the NHL for the 1970-71 season, what other team came onboard with them?

A. The Vancouver Canucks joined in 1970-71 along with the Sabres in what was the beginning of the second generation of NHL expansion. In that inaugural season, Buffalo had more points than the Canucks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and California Golden Seals. The Sabres ended up tied with the Los Angeles Kings with 63 points in the 14 team league. However, Buffalo finished 19 points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the fourth and final playoff position in the East Division.

Q. Who was the first overall draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres?

A. Gilbert Perreault was selected first overall and became the centre piece of the Sabres organization for seventeen years. In Buffalo’s first season in the NHL, Perreault won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. Gilbert was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990.

Buffalo and Vancouver were slated to take the top two picks in the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft. The teams spun a wheel to determine who would go first and Buffalo won. Vancouver took defenseman Dale Tallon second overall. Tallon played 642 regular season games in the National Hockey League between 1970-71 and 1979-80 with the Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Q. The number 2 is retired by the Buffalo Sabres for what player?

A. Tim Horton wore number 2 for the 1972-73 season and the 1973-74 season up until his death on February 21, 1974. With the Toronto Maple Leafs, number 7 is honoured for Horton. Tim switched to number 4 with Buffalo because Rick Martin was already in possession of number 7 when he arrived. Horton played in the NHL from 1949-50 with the Maple Leafs, Rangers, Penguins and Sabres. Horton posthumously entered the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1977.

Q. Who is the only Buffalo Sabre player to win the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player?

A. Dominik Hasek won the Hart Trophy in 1996-97 and 1997-98. Not only is he the only Sabre to win the Hart, he is the only goaltender to ever win the trophy more than once. Hasek played for Buffalo from 1992-93 to 2000-01 and in the NHL from 1990-91 to 2007-08. Along with the Sabres, Dominik also played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings.

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