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The pride of Buffalo, New York on the ice, Buffalo Sabres marked their entrance to the national Hockey Leage in 1970. The team was founded and first owned by Northrup Knox and Seymour Knox III who came from a wellknown family in Western New York, and played at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium until 1996.
Tagged as "sabres," which are offensive and defensive weapons of great leaders, the team saw the birth of an unmatched player in the person of Gilbert Perreault. During his rookie season, Perreault was able to make 38 goals, the best record for a rookie during the season and also, outstanding enough to earn the Calder Memorial Trophy as the Rookie of the Year.
Another great sabre was born in 1972 with the entry of Rick Martin. Martin and Perreault were then known as The French Connection, considered as the most powerful tandem. Their talent was enough to earn them a spot in the 1972-73 playoffs but fell short during the quarterfinals to the champions, he Montreal Canadiens.
During the 1980s to 1990s, the Sabres gradually slid down the middle of the pack of the Adams Division. Buffalo Sabres failed to enter the playoffs from 1985to 1987. It was also in 1986-87 season when Perreault finally retired after 17 years of playing for the team and after making the 500-goal mark in 1985 to 1986 season.
Pierre Turgeon brought new energy and pure talent to the Buffalo Sabres upon his entry in 1987. And with the arrival of Alexander Mogilny, the first Soviet Player in NHL, in 1989, the team drastically improved with a 98-point finish before bowing down once again to Montreal.
Before leaving their home auditorium in 1997, a new head coach Ted Nolan was introduced. Nolan transformed the Sabres into hardworking and exciting players and eventually was tagged as the hardest working team in hockey. Nolan was awarded the Coach of the Year.
The next season, Knox sold the the Sabres to John Rigas of Adelphia Communications. The team was able to finally appear to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1999. It was Dallas Stars' Brett Hull who nailed the coffin for the Sabres, thus ending only in second place.
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