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The Buffalo Sabres are a professional hockey team in the National Hockey League (the NHL). The Buffalo Sabres play in the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference with four other teams: the Boston Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sabres tickets will be a hot item during the 2014-2015 NHL hockey schedule.
Buffalo Sabres 2014-2015 Outlook
On paper, the Sabres should improve. The offseason additions should outweigh the subtractions, key pieces like Tyler Myers should rebound from last season’s nightmare, and the young players should get better through experience. So it’s fair to expect that they’ll be better.
But in the Sabres’ case, “better” could still translate to last place overall, because they were miles behind the pack last year. Goaltending will be a question mark as they transition to the post–Ryan Miller era, and the overall talent level just isn’t very high at any position.
They can’t come out and say it, but the Sabres sure look like a team that has their eye set on McDavid, and there’s a good chance they get him. Between that, a stacked prospect pipeline, a stockpile of draft picks, and a smart young GM in Tim Murray, the Sabres have a chance to be very, very good in a few seasons. But to get there, they may need to be very, very bad this year.
The Buffalo Sabres franchise was originally founded in 1970 as an expansion team. The Vancouver Canucks were also issued an expansion franchise by the NHL in 1970. The Buffalo Sabres did not qualify for post-season play during its first 2 NHL seasons. The Buffalo Sabres advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise following the 1974-1975 NHL season, but the team lost to the Philadelphia Flyers 4 games to 2. The Buffalo Sabres did not advance to another Stanley Cup Finals until 1999 when the team lost to the Dallas Stars 4 games to 2. The Buffalo Sabres recorded a then-franchise record 110 points during the 2005-2006 NHL season, but the team lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals in a hotly contested 7-game series. The next season, the Buffalo Sabres broke the 2005-2006 franchise points-record by recording 113 points. But once again, the Buffalo Sabres fell short of its ultimate goal in the playoffs when it lost to the hot Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Finals 4 games to 1.
The Buffalo Sabres have retired the following players’ numbers: Tim Horton’s #2 (retired on January 15, 1996); Rick Martin’s #7 (retired on November 15, 1995); Gilbert Perreault’s #11 (retired on October 17, 1990); Rene Robert’s #14 (retired on November 15, 1995); Pat LaFontaine’s #16 (retired on March 3, 2006); Danny Gare’s #18 (retired on November 22, 2005); and Wayne Gretzky’s #99 (retired league-wide by the NHL on February 6, 2000).
Buffalo Sabres TV/Radio
All Buffalo Sabres hockey games can be seen on either the Madison Square Garden Network or the Sabres Hockey Network in the greater Buffalo area. ESPN also has television rights to Buffalo Sabres games based on the popularity of the game. Tune into WGR 550 on your AM dial to catch each Buffalo Sabres hockey game on the radio.
First Niagara Center
The Buffalo Sabres play their home games in the First Niagara Center. The First Niagara Center, formerly known as HSBC Arena and Marine Midland Arena, is a multipurpose indoor arena located in downtown Buffalo, New York, USA. First Niagara Center is home to the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and the Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League. The arena was the home of the Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena Football League, the Buffalo Blizzard of the National Professional Soccer League II, and the Buffalo Wings of Roller Hockey International during each team’s brief existence. During the 2012 NHL lockout, the arena has hosted several Rochester Americans games and continues to host occasional Americans games at the arena.
The arena also is used regularly for college basketball games and hosts concerts. It has been home to the NCAA (2000, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2014) and MAAC (1997, 1999, 2001, 2005) men’s basketball tournaments. In 2003 the Arena hosted the Frozen Four NCAA Ice Hockey tournament.
The arena was also host to a house party for the 2008 NHL Winter Classic. Festivities included the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team playing in pre-game action, followed by the Winter Classic shown on the scoreboard. In December 2010 through January 2011, the arena hosted the IIHF World Junior Championship tournament. In October 2014 the arena will host its first Ontario Hockey League contest, a neutral-site game between the Erie Otters (who count among its players marquee prospect Connor McDavid) and the Niagara IceDogs.
The arena hosted the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and will hold the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
The arena is also a regular stop for major concert tours and is the largest concert venue in Buffalo proper (it is one of two regular stops in Western New York for concert tours, the other being the performing arts center at Darien Lake).
The arena has hosted many WWE events including The Great American Bash 2005, Armageddon 2008, Night of Champions 2011 and is set to host WWE Battleground on October 6, 2013. A number of Raw and Smackdown tapings have occurred here, most recently Old School Raw March 4, 2013.
First Niagara Center
One Seymour Knox III Plaza
Buffalo, New York 14203