Next up on our Greatest Sabres countdown is without a doubt the most unsung of the those that have or will be mentioned. He is former Minnesota Golden Gopher Mike Ramsey.
Ramsey is perhaps best known for his part on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. From what I hear, that team did alright for themselves that year in Lake Placid.
Ramsey pro career started off with him being drafted 11th overall by the Sabres in the 1979 NHL Draft. He would jump to the NHL right from the Olympics. As an amateur, Ramsey was known for being somewhat of an offensive defenseman. But once he arrived in the NHL, he adapted to the bigger and faster nature of the league by adopting a more defensively sound, "stay at home" role.
Ramsey would participate in the All-Star Game four times (1982, 1983, 1985, 1986) and was also a member of the NHL All-Star team that played the Soviet National team in the Rendez-vous '87 series. He also served as my mom's absolute favorite player growing up.
Ramsey would serve as the quiet leader throughout his NHL career, spending his 14 seasons with the Sabres as captain of the club.
To those who didn't follow the team closely, Ramsey was easy to miss. He didn't have spectacular numbers (just 79 goals, 266 assists in 1,070 career games) but he was a calming presence on the ice and played his position very well in his own end of the ice.
He would go on to serve the team as an assistant coach from 1997 to 2000.
Mike left the game as an accomplished player on the U.S. developmental stage as well as the NHL stage. He was rewarded for his time with an induction into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
This quiet, steady leader has earned his place in U.S. Hockey and Buffalo Sabres history.
Next up: the next player on our list shares a special "connection" with the same number in which he's slotted.