The Sabres have announced they have invited every player in team history to attend the regular-season home finale April 8. Team President Ted Black told The News about the plan during an exclusive tour of the dressing room earlier this month.
"Not only is this our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the fans, but it’s a chance for the fans to say ‘thank you’ to all the wonderful former players that have worn the Buffalo Sabres uniform over the past 40 years," Sabres owner Terry Pegula said in a statement. "I think this will be a very special night for everyone involved."
Every former player that attends will be part of a pregame Party in the Plaza red carpet event outside HSBC Arena from 5-7 p.m. Alumni will be dropped off at the red carpet in a car from their era, and will be available for autographs and pictures as they walk into the arena prior to the game against Philadelphia.
All attending alumni will also be honored in a pregame on-ice ceremony that will also include presentation of the 2010-11 Sabres MVP, Rookie of the Year and Hardest Working Player awards. In addition, an online vote will provide Sabres fans with the opportunity to make their choice for “The 7th Man” – the team’s Fan of the Year Award. Details of the online voting process will be announced shortly.
"Ever since we opened up the Sabres Suggestion Box, the fans kept telling us to bring back Fan Appreciation Night," Black said. "We have the greatest fans in the NHL, and they deserve to be treated that way. It’s not just about the game, we want to recognize our fans as well."
Throughout the game, season-ticket holders will be selected though random drawings to win a jersey off the back of a Sabres player. The winning fans will then be brought down to the ice and will receive their game-worn jersey directly from their selected player.