BUFFALO SABRES TEAM HISTORY
In 1970, Buffalo, New York would get its own NHL team. After conducting a name contest, the name “Sabres” was chosen. The team chose blue as its primary colour and yellow (or gold) as the secondary. The team’s logo would be two crossing sabres below an image of a bison. There would only be minor changes made over the next 23 years:
• 1977 – Players names were added to the back
• 1978 – The logo is added to the shoulders
• 1983 – The stripes were enlarged and the font was changed
In 1996, the Sabres moved to a new arena, the Marine Midland Arena (which would become the HSBC arena in 1999). The also introduced new a logo and jerseys. The logo became just a bison head and featured the team’s new colours red, black, and grey. A new secondary logo was also created, a letter “B” with a sabre lancing through it. The new uniform was modernized, with angular striping patterns and a new font.
The new jerseys brought success with them, as team would make it to the second round of the playoffs and would take home several hockey awards; Dominik Hasek won the Lester B Person award, the Vezina Trophy, and the Hart Trophy; Pat LaFontaine co-won the Lester Patrick Trophy; Michael Peca won the Frank J. Selke Trophy; Ted Nolan won the Jack Adams; and John Muckler was titled Executive of the Year.
These would be the uniforms the Sabres would wear going up two games in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1999.
In 2000, team introduced an alternate jersey. The third jersey was predominantly red, sporting new front crest. The alternate patch would resemble the older crossing sabers logo but a more detailed image (and no bison).
In 2006, the team introduced a new uniform and logo. Colours are a modern take on the classic ones, a darker blue and gold. The logo, which is a stylized bison head, has had a mixed response among fans. 30,000 fans signed a petition to try and push the team to change the logo. Fans have several names for it but the most common one is the Buffaslug, in reference to the slug like shape and lack of legs. The shoulder patch would remain the same except for an update to the new colours. The new uniforms also have player numbers on the top right of the chest, something many teams would mimic in the following season.
The alternate jersey, also introduced that year, is the same as the jersey used in the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s. To the fans delight, the team has stated that if they playing in a game for the Stanley Cup at home, they would wear the alternate jersey.
On January 1st 2008, the Sabres played in the NHL’s second outdoor game. The game was called “The Winter Classic” and was played at Ralph Wilson stadium (home of the Buffalo Bills). The team playing in a light jersey styled off the light jersey used during the teams beginnings.
From 2008 on and with Reebok’s introduction of the new Edge uniform, the team has made no changes to the normal uniform but did introduce a new third jersey. The alternate jersey is a melding of the old alternate (and vintage) jersey but uses the newer “midnight’ blue.
All Time Esteemed Sabres
• # 7 Rick Martin 1971-81*
• # 9 Derek Roy 2001-Current
• # 11 Gilbert Perreault 1970-86*
• # 14 Rene Robert 1972-79*
• # 16 Pat LaFontaine 1991-97*
• # 23 Chris Drury 2003-2007
• # 26 Tomas Vanek 2003-Current
• # 30 Tom Barrasso 1983-89
• # 30 Ryan Miller 1999-Current
• # 31 Jhonas Enroth 2006-Current
• # 39 Dominik Hasek 1992-01
• # 52 Craig Rivet 2008-Current
• # 61 Maxim Afinogenov 1997-Current
* denote retired number
Recent Top Draft Picks
• 2009 - Zack Kassian
• 2008 - Tyler Myers
• 2008 - Tyler Ennis
• Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League. (AHL)