A trip through Sabres history: facts and oddities
The first game was October 10, 1970. The Sabres won 2-1. Jim Watson and Gilbert Perreault scored for the Sabres.
Arguably, the best trade the Sabres ever made was in 1992, when they traded Stephane Beauregard for Dominik Hasek.
For one season, Hall of Fame baseball announcer Bob Prince did Sabres play-by-play.
Game 7s have not been kind to the Sabres throughout the years. In 39 years, they are 1-4. The time they won was in 1997, on Derek Plante's overtime goal.
The Knox family tried twice before to bring a NHL team to Buffalo: 1967 expansion and an offer to move the Oakland Seals.
The Sabres have played 10 teams that no longer exist because they folded or relocated. Those teams are: California Golden Seals, Cleveland Barons, Kansas City Scouts, Atlanta Flames, Colorado Rockies, Minnesota North Stars, Quebec Nordiques, Winnipeg Jets, Atlanta Thrashers, and Hartford Whalers.
Rene Robert took a longer road to the Sabres than expected: He was claimed by the Sabres from Toronto, only to be taken by Pittsburgh in the interleague draft, and a trade finally brought him back to Buffalo
The Aud's organist, Norm Wullen was quite the musician. He played organ for more than 70 years.
The biggest road win ever for the Sabres was 13-3, against the Cleveland Barons in 1978.
The team has six media members in the Hall of Fame: Rick Jeanneret, Ted Darling, Dick Johnston, Jim Kelly, Charlie Barton, and Jack Gatecliff.
Longtime PR man Paul Wieland doubled as the team's practice goalie. He was also a prankster, once releasing an April Fool's press release stating the Sabres were switching to plastic ice.
Weiland also snuck into the visitor's dressing room to measure the pads of Ken Dryden. They were wider than the allowed 10 inches. The team then waited until the final minute of Game 3 to call for a measurement. It didn't get them the goal, but won minutes later.
Dedication: 65 fans from Adler, Germany traveled to Buffalo in February 2012 to see hometown player Jochen Hecht.
The strangest fight in team history: when a fan decided to jump on the ice in front of the Sabres' bench. Rob Ray grabbed the fan by the shirt and pummelled him until the police intervened.
Who can forget Punch Imlach drafting Taro Tsujimoto of the Tokyo Katanas? A player who doesn't exist, yet is still listed as a 1974 draft pick in the Sabres media guide.
The Sabres defeated the Soviet Wings in an exhibition game, 12-6. The next day, the team got a standing ovation - at the Montreal Forum.
Three terrifying injuries have happened at the Sabres' arena. In 1978, Rick Martin hit his head on the ice and went into convulsions. In 1989, the horrific Clint Malarchuk throat injury occurred. History seemed to repeat itself when Richard Zednik had a similar injury in 2008.
The worst day of Sabres history: February 21, 1974, the night after player Tim Horton was killed. All of the Sabres wore black armbands, stood shoulder to shoulder at the blue line during a moment of silence, and a few players even wept openly.
Memorable fight: Jim Schoenfeld checked Wayne Cashman through the Zamboni door, where they fought off ice.
The Sabres have the honour of having the first Soviet player to defect on their roster. Alexander Mogilny defected in 1989 with the help of the Sabres, and wore number 89 in honour of the occasion.
And then there was the game of fog and bat: In the 1975 Cup Final, a bat began dive-bombing players. Sabres Jim Lorentz killed it with his stick, the only time a player has killed an animal during an NHL game. After that, the Aud began filling with fog at ice level. The fog was so thick at times that players couldn't see the puck and fans had a hard time seeing the players.
Perhaps the most impressive broadcasting moment came during the Blizzard of 1977. With just 14 Sabres making the flight and playing in Montreal, play by play man Ted Darling called the game from his living room, with help from his son, who handed him notes from the CBC telecast.
In 1970, The first pick went to either the Sabres or the Canucks. How was it decided? By roulette wheel.
After attending training camp on a try-out basis, Randy Burridge earned a spot, and was second to Pat LaFontaine in scoring at the end of the season.
Odd injury: backup goalie Gerry Desjardins suffered a shoulder separation when he slipped and fell in the Buffalo dressing room following practice.
In 2007, HSBC Arena sold out its entire 41-game home schedule for the first time since 1979-80. That same season, they tied the franchise record for wins, with 52.
Remember when Brad May was a playoff hero? He beat Ray Bourque to score the OT winner that got the Sabres out of the first playoff round. It just might be Rick Jeanneret's most famous call.
And finally, anyone want to bring back the JCPenney Sabrejak?