Since the Buffalo Sabres are coming upon its 40th anniversary season, I decided I would reflect on the past 39 years of the team’s history. The franchise began in 1970 and the Sabres have made two Stanley cup final appearances, but lost both of them.
The Sabres have given the fans in Buffalo great entertainment. However, fans are becoming restless as Buffalo remains without a Stanley Cup. Through the 39 years the team has experienced ups and downs and has seen some great players develop and play for the blue and gold.
I decided to come up with my personal 40th anniversary team. The team is made up of the ultimate Sabres lineup that has players from every decade.
Martin, Perraeult and Robert, famously known as the French Connection, are on the 1st line on this team. They totaled 1,116 goals throughout their careers. Perraeult, who is easily the greatest Sabre of all time, was imperative, along with Martin and Robert to keep the French Connection together.
Sabres 40th Anniversary Team:
Rick Martin, Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert
Dave Andreyhuck, Pat Lafontaine, Alexander Mogilny
The 2nd line scored many goals in their career as Sabres and electrified the fans much like the French Connection did. The 2nd line recorded a total of 737 goals combined in their Sabres careers.
Andreychuk, who famously made a name for himself as camping out in front of the net and pounding goals in, would be perfect on a line with Lafontaine and Mogilny. In the early 90’s, Lafontaine and Mogilny electrified Sabres fans with their high powered scoring and great work together.
Danny Gare, Michael Peca, Donald Audette
The third line of Gare, Peca and Audette is one of the most interesting lines because of the type of players that it has. Danny Gare scored 264 goals, good enough for 4th ever as a Sabre and added a great spark as he might not have been one of the biggest guys at just 5’9” but he was one of the toughest.
Michael Peca was a fan favorite in Buffalo during his time from 1995-2000. Peca was remembered as being a leader as he was captain of the team during the 98-99 season when the Sabres reached the Finals. Peca will also be remembered as one of the most fearsome open ice hitters.
The Speedy Donald Audette played in two different stints with the Sabres and was an offensive threat. Audette recorded 65 power play goals as a Sabre, ranking him 9th in team history.
Dale Hawerchuk, Chris Drury , Craig Ramsay
The 4th line was not the most flashy and didn’t score the most goals, but they each did their role and were a big part in Sabres history. Hawerchuk who played in 5 seasons with the Sabres recorded over 80 points in 4 of the 5 seasons.
Drury was the heart of the team and was a big part of leading the Sabres to two Eastern Conference Finals appearances.
Craig Ramsay played in 776 consecutive games and was the Sabres ‘iron horse’. Ramsay is 4th in team’s history in points with 672 points.
Jim Schoenfeld, Phil Housley, Tim Horton, Bill Hajt, Brian Campbell, Larry Playfair
This group of defenseman were some of the best in team history as they have an interesting group of different styles.
Domenik Hasek, Ryan Miller
Hasek and Miller have made their mark in the Sabres net as they have both won a Vezina Trophy. Hasek is 1st in team history in with 223 wins and also collected 6 Vezina trophies as best goaltender in the league and two Hart trophies as best player in the league.
Miller is coming off a tremendous season where he won his first Vezina trophy. It will be seen if Miller will edge out Hasek in his career as a Sabre and as the best goaltender in Sabres history. How would your ultimate Sabres team look?