About Buffalo Sabres
The franchise came to life in 1970 when the NHL expanded to 14 teams. The team has had some long consecutive seasons’ runs into post season from mid-seventies with few seasons out of the playoffs here and there and the Sabres advanced to Stanley Cup Finals twice, unfortunately coming out defeated both times. Their last trip to the finals occurred in 1998-99 season when they lost to Dallas Stars.
The franchise’s fortunes turned at beginning of 21st century when the trips to playoffs became rarer with the team reaching playoffs last time in 2010-11 season.
The team is a member of Atlantic Division in Eastern Conference which was part of 2013 realignment, hence the Sabres have no division titles here despite being division champions 6 times in the team’s history.
The Sabres colours are navy blue, gold, silver and white and the team has an official mascot in a mysterious cat named Sabretooth.
Head coaching duties are Dan Bylsma responsibilities. The former right wingman who after retiring in 2004 began his coaching career led the Penguins to Stanley Cup in 2009, just mere four months after he was promoted to the position. He was also the head coach of USA men ice hockey team. He joined the Sabres in 2015.
The franchise entrusted the goaltending duties to Chad Johnson who joined them in 2015 after playing four several teams since he started his NHL journey in 2009.
The team’s named captain is recently acquired Brian Gionta who plays on right wing and who had won the Stanley Cup in 2002-03 with the Devils.
The franchise core players are Ryan O’Reilly and Rasmus Ristolainen.
Playing at center, O’Reilly is named as alternative captain. He joined the franchise via a trade in 2015 after spending his first several seasons with the Avalanche. He is well known for his sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct as evidenced by the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 2014.
Ristolainen is a young prospect who the team drafted 8th overall in 2013 draft. He competed in World Junior Championship in 2014, for his country Finland and helped the team win the gold medal by scoring overtime winning goal.
Playing on left defence Ristolainen was the Sabres’ first defenceman to score a hat trick since the famous Phil Housley done it in 1987-88.
It is obvious that the team is in restructuring mode and wins might be hard to come by but sometimes teams have to get through period of struggle to gain the invaluable experience to start challenging the top and succeed.