The Buffalo Sabres are an NHL franchise in the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference.
The Sabres joined the NHL in 1970. In their third season of play, riding the play of Gilbert Perreault and the French Connection line, the Sabres made the playoffs for the first time. In 1975, the Sabres would make it to the Cup Finals, but lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in six games. The Sabres played well through the 1980s and early ‘90s, but failed to make any real noise in the playoffs. In the late ‘90s, the Sabres became one of the top teams in the league, making it to the playoffs on a number of occasions. In 1999, the Sabres were at the center of one of the most controversial goals in NHL history. In Game six of the Stanley Cup Finals, in triple overtime, Brett Hull scored a goal while his skate was clearly in the goal crease. At the time, it was illegal for a skater to score while touching the crease. For some reason, the goal was not reviewed, and the Dallas Stars were awarded the Stanley Cup.
After a few years of financial struggles and poor finishes, the Sabres were able to turn it around after the lockout in 2005. The addition of players like Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Maxim Afinogenov helped the Sabres reach the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes, who went on to win the Cup. In 2007, Buffalo was part of one of the largest brawls in NHL history, during a game against Ottawa. After a cheap shot on Chris Drury, the benches cleared and a number of fights ensued. Both goalies fought each other, and over 100 penalty minutes were handed out. That season, the Sabres won the President’s Trophy with the best record in the NHL. They again reached the Conference Finals, where they lost to the Ottawa Senators. The following season, both Briere and Drury signed with different teams during the offseason, and the Sabres missed the playoffs in 2008.
Stanley Cups won: none
Notable Players: Maxim Afinogenov, Dave Andreychuk, Daniel Briere, Chris Drury, Grant Fuhr, Danny Gare, Dale Hawerchuk, Tim Horton, Pat Lafontaine, Tomas Vanek, Rick Martin, Ryan Miller, Alexander Mogilny, Gilbert Perreault, Mike Ramsey, Rene Robert, Miroslav Satan, Pierre Turgeon