To qualify for this team of a goalie, center, right wing, left wing and two defensemen, a player had to have played at least 164 games for the Sabres (equivalent of two seasons). Many of the positions were harder than one would think to fill.
GOALIE: Dominik Hasek. Buffalo has a rich goaltending tradition (Don Edwards, Bob Sauve, Tom Barrasso, Grant Fuhr, Ryan Miller) but Hasek was the best player in the entire league for nearly a decade. He's now second to Miller in Sabres wins (234 to Miller's 269) but he posted an anemic 2.22 career 2.22 GAA and led the league in save percentage six straight seasons. He also won six Vezina trophies and two Hart trophies. He will surely be the next Sabres player to have his number retired.
CENTER: Gilbert Perreault. Pat LaFontaine had the most ridiculous season in Sabres history for a scorer, putting up 53 goals and 95 assists in 1992-93. But his lack of longevity – thanks in part to lingering injury issues – prevent him from overtaking the Face of the Franchise. Perreault was a 17-year member of the team and still leads every major offensive category with 512 goals, 814 assists and 1,326 points. He never topped 44 goals in one season, but his consistency (15 20-goal seasons) and flair make him a beloved figure even today.
LEFT WING: Dave Andreychuk. Rick Martin is immortalized in the rafters and outside the First Niagara Center as part of the French Connection, but Andreychuk was more of a force in two stints with the Sabres. He can't top Martin's two 52-goal seasons in the 1970s, but Andreychuk has seven 30-goal seasons in 11 1/2 seasons with the Sabres, and in one of those other seasons he was traded mid-year after scoring 29 for Buffalo. He partnered with LaFontaine and Alexander Mogilny to make one of the scariest lines in NHL history in 1992-93.
RIGHT WING: Rene Robert. Mogilny would be here if his Sabres tenure were longer. He topped 30 goals four times in six Sabres seasons. Robert topped 40 twice in 7 1/2 seasons in Buffalo and eclipsed 30 twice more while serving as a main set-up man for Perreault and Martin. He had a career-best 100 points in 1974-75. Danny Gare also warrants a mention here, having topped 50 goals twice in eight seasons.
DEFENSE: Mike Ramsey and Phil Housley. Leaving Jim Schoenfeld off this list is tough, but if you're going to have one shutdown blueliner included, Ramsey is the pick. The Miracle on Ice Team USA member was a ferocious shot-blocker who wasn't the best shot (he never topped nine goals in a season) but was a premier penalty-killer and the first player to put on the ice in the final minute. Schoenfeld did lead the NHL in plus/minus in 1979-80 with +60. And Housley had the sort of firepower that should eventually land him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He never scored fewer than 15 goals in eight Sabres seasons and had a 31-goal campaign in 1983-84. He made three Al-Star games in that span and is among the careernleaders in points for a defenseman (1,232).
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