1970-71 Season

Record: 24-39-15 (63 points)
Finish: 5th in NHL East Division
Coach: Punch Imlach

In 1970, the Buffalo Sabres were created along with their Canadian cousins, the Vancouver Canucks, to help expand the NHL from 12 teams to 14. The owners of the new team in Buffalo were Seymour and Northrop Knox, who in 1967, tried to get Buffalo a hockey team but were passed over by the NHL for expansion in California with the Oakland Seals (present-day Dallas Stars).

Buffalo picked recently fired legendary Maple Leafs coach Punch Imlach to build the Sabres. Imlach had an eye for talent and did a great job quickly building the Sabres into a contender, but he needed a little luck for the centrepiece of this team.

That year, the NHL draft was led by a Quebec phenom named Gilbert Perrault. With Buffalo and Vancouver being the two expansion teams, the first overall pick was decided by using a wheel with 20 numbers. Numbers 1-10 were the Canucks and 11-20 were the Sabres. When the wheel stopped it looked as though Vancouver won with the pointer on the No. 1.

Imlach told the NHL president, Clarance Campbell, to look again and sure enough,  No.11 was the number. The Sabres had their centrepiece and Perrault had his number… 11.



Gilbert PerreaultC78383472-3819
Phil GoyetteC60154661-176
Gerry MeehanC77243155-108
Don MarshallLW62202949-136
Eddie ShackLW56251742-2893
Steve AtkinsonRW57201838312
Paul AndreaRW47112132-154
Al HamiltonD6922830-2271
Larry KeenanLW5172027-116
Doug BarrieD7542327-19168
Ron AndersonRW74141226-1244
Dick DuffLW5371320-1812
Floyd SmithRW7761117-1346
Reggie FlemingLW7861016-8159
Cliff SchmautzRW265712-1110
Jim WatsonD782911-28147
Skip KrakeC74459-2168
Kevin O'SheaRW41448-118
Tracy PrattD76178-17179
Jean-Guy TalbotD57077-2036
Randy WyrozubC16224-106
Joe DaleyG38011012
Dave DrydenG1001100
Billy InglisC14011-44
Francois LacombeD1011-22
Terry BallD200000
Roger CrozierG4400000
Butch DeadmarshLW10000-39
Jean-Guy LagaceD300002
Brian McDonaldC12000-829
Mike McMahonD12000-94
Hap MyersD13000-106
Brian PerryC100000
Paul TerbencheD3000-32

Joe Daley12-16-83.74.8951
Roger Crozier9-20-73.69.9001
Dave Dryden3-3-03.23.9031


11970-10-10@Pittsburgh Penguins21W100
21970-10-14@New York Rangers03L110
31970-10-15Montreal Canadiens03L120
41970-10-17@St. Louis Blues14L130
51970-10-18Pittsburgh Penguins11T131
61970-10-22@Philadelphia Flyers24L141
71970-10-23Detroit Red Wings43W241
81970-10-25Chicago Black Hawks04L251
91970-10-27@Vancouver Canucks27L261
101970-10-30@California Golden Seals16L271
111970-11-01@Los Angeles Kings24L281
121970-11-05Vancouver Canucks14L291
131970-11-07@Montreal Canadiens211L2101
141970-11-08Philadelphia Flyers13L2111
151970-11-13California Golden Seals42W3111
161970-11-15Montreal Canadiens22T3112
171970-11-18@Toronto Maple Leafs72W4112
181970-11-21@Minnesota North Stars03L4122
191970-11-25@Pittsburgh Penguins44T4123
201970-11-26New York Rangers22T4124
211970-11-29California Golden Seals12L4134
221970-12-03Boston Bruins44T4135
231970-12-06Minnesota North Stars10W5135
241970-12-09@Chicago Black Hawks16L5145
251970-12-10@Boston Bruins28L5155
261970-12-12@Detroit Red Wings35L5165
271970-12-13Toronto Maple Leafs04L5175
281970-12-16@New York Rangers04L5185
291970-12-17Los Angeles Kings43W6185
301970-12-19@Toronto Maple Leafs02L6195
311970-12-20Toronto Maple Leafs24L6205
321970-12-22New York Rangers27L6215
331970-12-26@Montreal Canadiens44T6216
341970-12-27Detroit Red Wings52W7216
351971-01-01Boston Bruins49L7226
361971-01-03Chicago Black Hawks35L7236
371971-01-07Detroit Red Wings74W8236
381971-01-09@Detroit Red Wings23L8246
391971-01-10Los Angeles Kings22T8247
401971-01-13@Chicago Black Hawks24L8257
411971-01-14St. Louis Blues21W9257
421971-01-16@Minnesota North Stars43W10257
431971-01-17Montreal Canadiens44T10258
441971-01-21New York Rangers55T10259
451971-01-23@St. Louis Blues17L10269
461971-01-24Philadelphia Flyers64W11269
471971-01-27@Los Angeles Kings33T112610
481971-01-29@California Golden Seals42W122610
491971-01-31@Vancouver Canucks61W132610
501971-02-04Los Angeles Kings52W142610
511971-02-06@Boston Bruins34L142710
521971-02-07Toronto Maple Leafs34L142810
531971-02-09@Vancouver Canucks36L142910
541971-02-10@California Golden Seals15L143010
551971-02-12California Golden Seals30W153010
561971-02-14Philadelphia Flyers32W163010
571971-02-17@Chicago Black Hawks15L163110
581971-02-18Pittsburgh Penguins66T163111
591971-02-20@Detroit Red Wings56L163211
601971-02-21St. Louis Blues13L163311
611971-02-23Boston Bruins36L163411
621971-02-25@Philadelphia Flyers23L163511
631971-02-27@Toronto Maple Leafs02L163611
641971-02-28Minnesota North Stars52W173611
651971-03-03@Los Angeles Kings33T173612
661971-03-05Chicago Black Hawks22T173613
671971-03-07Vancouver Canucks63W183613
681971-03-13@St. Louis Blues09L183713
691971-03-14@Minnesota North Stars50W193713
701971-03-18St. Louis Blues53W203713
711971-03-20@Montreal Canadiens25L203813
721971-03-21@Boston Bruins75W213813
731971-03-23@New York Rangers27L213913
741971-03-26Vancouver Canucks31W223913
751971-03-28Minnesota North Stars42W233913
761971-03-31@Pittsburgh Penguins64W243913
771971-04-01Pittsburgh Penguins33T243914
781971-04-04@Philadelphia Flyers33T243915


  • In the Sabres first game ever, they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1. They finished the season like a typical expansion team, going 24-39-15
  • Perrault had a stellar rookie year, scoring 38 goals and 72 points, helping him capture the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year
  • Imlach got revenge on his former club and the Sabres drew first blood in their rivalry against Toronto with a 7-2 victory
  • Perrault recorded the Sabres first hat trick on January 29th, 1971 against the California Golden Seals in a 4-2 victory. Ironically it was Perreault’s only hat trick of the year as veteran forward Eddie Shack led the Sabres with three hat tricks that season.
  • At the NHL All-Star game in Boston, Perrault was the Sabres lone representative. It was his first of eight All-Star appearances for Perrault
  • Buffalo finished over .500 at home with a respectable 16-13-10 record at the ”Aud”
  • The Sabres finished the season on a five-game unbeaten streak, winning three games and tying two others