Sabres in the 70's
By Conor Thompson
For over a decade the word mediocre would be received as a compliment to describe the Buffalo Sabres. To many Buffalonians, it feels like this has been the state of the Sabres since they were formed in 1970. But for those of you like myself that are over the age of 15, it still at times feels like yesterday when it meant something to be a Sabres fan. Every week I’ll be posting a blog on each decade of this franchise, the good, the bad and the memorable. None of our Sabres memories would have happened if it wasn’t for the Knox family.
The Knox family is what brought an NHL team to the city of Buffalo, repeatedly attempting to receive an expansion team. Along with the Vancouver Canucks, the Sabres were granted an expansion team to start the 1970 season. With Buffalo having a minor league hockey team for some time with great success known as the Buffalo Bisons, the Knox family wanted something different to name the team and decided to hold a contest to choose the name. Harry Kane, a Toronto filmmaker chose the winning name as “The Sabres,” because Seymour Knox III stated a Sabre was a weapon carried by a leader and could be effective on both defense and offense. With an NHL team finally in Buffalo and with an intimidating name, the Sabres drafted Gilbert Perrault first overall, known by many as the original Sabre.
The 70s produced one of the greatest lines in hockey history made up Gilbert Perrault, Rick Martin and Rene Robert, known by many as “The French Connection,” who were a main factor which led the Sabres to tie for the best record in 74-75. The team’s success in the regular season carried through into the postseason where the Sabres meet the “Broad Street Bullies” in the Stanley Cup final. With success in the memorable “fog game” overtime victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, the Sabres couldn’t prevail in the series and lost in 6 games to the Flyers. Failing to reach the Stanley Cup finals again in the 70s, the Sabres still had many successes in a short time with many more to follow. Until next week Buffalo, thanks for reading.