In his first press conference as the new owner of the Buffalo Sabres, Terry Pegula broke down in tears when describing Hall-of-Famer Gilbert Perreault as “my hero.” But who are the best players in Sabres history? We count them down in this week’s Top 10 list.
10. Mike Ramsey/Craig Ramsay (tie)
The Sabres got consistency from Ramsay (second on Buffalo’s list of career games played, with 1,070) and Ramsey (third on that list with 911 games played). Ramsay, who played his entire career with Buffalo, won the Selke Trophy in 1985; Ramsey was already famous for playing on the ‘Miracle’ 1980 U.S. Olympic team, but went on to captain the Sabres and was a tremendous stay-at-home defenseman.
9. Danny Gare
Gare scored his first NHL goal 18 seconds into his career and went on to be an integral part of the Sabres offense for seven-and-a-half seasons; he scored 50 or more goals for Buffalo twice, including the 1979-80 campaign, when he tied for the NHL lead in goals with 56.
8. Alexander Mogilny
The Russian sniper spent his first six NHL seasons with the Sabres after defecting from his homeland in 1989. He scored at least 30 goals in four of those seasons – including a league-high 76 goals in 77 games in 1992-93.
7. Rene Robert
The first member of the fabled ‘French Connection’ on this list, Robert put up the first 100-point season by a Sabres player in 1974-75 when he scored 40 goals and added 60 assists. The Trois Rivieres, Que., native scored at least 20 goals in all of the seven full seasons he spent as a Sabre.
6. Dave Andreychuk
Drafted by the Sabres in 1982, Andreychuk played more than 10 seasons in Buffalo and remains one of the most beloved players in team history. In seven of those seasons he had at least 30 goals and remains the NHL’s all-time leader in power play goals (274).
5. Ryan Miller
The Sabres current goalie won the Vezina Trophy last season and was a finalist for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. The 30-year-old has won at least 30 games in each of his five full NHL seasons, was victorious 40 or more times in two of the past four years and is a cornerstone of the team’s plans for the foreseeable future.
4. Pat LaFontaine
LaFontaine already had become a star with the New York Islanders when he was traded to Buffalo early in the 1991-92 campaign. He had 46 goals in 57 games in his first Sabres season – and the next season, he exploded for 95 assists and 148 points in 84 games, finishing second to Mario Lemieux in league scoring and setting a still-standing record for the most points ever scored by an American-born player in one year.
3. Rick Martin
He retired as a Los Angeles King, but Martin spent all but four games of his 11-year NHL career as one of the Sabres biggest stars. Another member of the ‘French Connection’ he scored at least 44 goals five times in his NHL career (including back-to-back 52-goal seasons in 1973-74 and 1974-75).
2. Gilbert Perreault
Buffalo’s first-ever draft pick, Perreault won the Calder Trophy in 1970-71 after netting 38 goals and 72 points. Over the course of the next 16 years, he starred for the franchise in a way few Sabres ever have, scoring fewer than 20 goals just twice – in ‘73-74, when he played just 55 games and in ’86-87 when he played 20 games – and holds franchise records for most games (1,191), goals (512), assists (814) and points (1,326).
1. Dominik Hasek
Although he had his share of controversies while in Buffalo, Hasek also dominated like no other Sabres player: he won six Vezina Trophies from 1994-2001, six First Team All-Star honors and two consecutive Hart Trophies (in 1997 and 1998). Hasek also led the Sabres to within two wins of a Stanley Cup championship in 1998-99, the closest the franchise has come to winning hockey’s ultimate prize.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.
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