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A Brief History: Buffalo Sabres

BOSTON - APRIL 26:  Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates with teammate Steve Montador #4 after he scored a goal in the third period against the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 26, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeated the Sabres 4-3 to win the series.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Mike StainkampContributor IOctober 17, 2016

The Buffalo Sabres joined the NHL in 1970, along with the Vancouver Canucks, as part of NHL expansion. The team name was chosen because owner Seymour Knox felt a sabre was a weapon carried by a leader, also noting it is swift and strong on offense, as well as defense.

After a few years of existence, the Sabres were able to accumulate several good players through the draft and through trades, but were still striving to reach the playoff plateau.

In their first playoff appearance, they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

That 1975 series included the Fog Game, which was played in a heavy fog, due to a combination of a heat wave and the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium not having air conditioning. The Sabres won that game, but lost the series and the Cup to the Philadelphia Flyers in six.

The team's success after that was limited until 1996-97, when the Sabres won the Northeast Division, their first division title in 16 years.

With the emergence of Dominik Hasek in goal and Lindy Ruff taking over behind the bench, the team went back to the Stanley Cup Final in 1999, falling to the Dallas Stars in a six-game series that ended with a triple-overtime thriller.

More recently, the Sabres went to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2006 and 2007, and they won the Northeast Division last season.

Throughout the years, the Sabres have gone through a few logo and jersey changes. They currently sport blue and yellow team colors, a nod to their original color scheme. They also have worn black and red.

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