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History of the Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres entered the National Hockey League for the 1970-71 season along with the Vancouver Canucks. The Sabres decided to keep the same Buffalo icons and symbols to try to keep up the tradition of their parent team, the American Hockey League's Buffalo Bisons. The team was a hit at first, not only drawing fanatics from the hockey-enriched city of Buffalo, but drawing fans from over the border in Ontario as well. With their team now in the NHL, the Sabres and their fans were ready to go.

It was a rough start for the Sabres; missing the playoffs three out of their first four seasons. But they quickly got up to speed with the rest of the league and went on to make the playoffs in 22 of the next 25 seasons. In the 1970 draft, the Sabres picked up their first superstar, Gilbert Perreault. In the next season's draft, they picked up Rick Martin and later traded veteran Eddie Shack for Rene Robert. This made for a very productive line with a very creative nickname, "The French Connection". This line lead the Sabres for seven seasons and went on to become one of the most famous lines of NHL history. Perreault went on to play 17 glorious seasons before retiring in 1987. By then, he had most of Buffalo's scoring record under his belt.

Now back to the seventies. In 1975, the Stanley Cup Playoffs pitted the amazing Buffalo Sabres against the Philadelphia Flyers. Their "Fog Game" went on to become one of the most memorable games in NHL history. The fog was so thick, that the two goalies could not see each other and the Flyers ended up pulling out of it with a shutout and later went on to win their second Stanley Cup in a row. In 1979, the Sabres found a new Head Coach in the famed Scotty Bowman. Bowman added stars such as Dave Andreychuck (who is still on the team today), Lindy Ruff, Phil Housley, Tom Barrasso, and Darren Puppa. But, unfortunately, they never went all the way up to the top. After Bowman left he was replaced, and stars such as Pat LaFontaine, Pierre Turgeon, and Alexander Mogilny glowed on Buffalo's silver stage, but no one could match the shine of Gilbert Perreault.

In the fall of 1996, the Sabres moved into their new and current building, and stars such as Michael Peca, Miroslav Satan, Dominik Hasek, Stu Barnes, and Alexei Zhitnik blossomed. These athletes formed an amazing team that led the Sabres to their second Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 1999. They lost the cup to the Dallas Stars in six games on an infamous call on a goal by Brett Hull late into the night after many long, tedious hours of play.

Note:At the time, a goal was to be disallowed if any part of any player on the attacking team's body was in the crease when the goal was scored (note Brett Hull's left foot just barely in the crease).

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