By John Vogl
The most controversial play in Sabres history turns 14 years old today.
Yes, it's been 14 years since Brett Hull scored with his foot in the crease to give the Dallas Stars a Stanley Cup victory in Buffalo. The triple-overtime contest was June 19, 1999 -- a day that Buffalo sports fans will never forget.
In case you feel like reliving the moment, here are links to the stories and columns that ran in The Buffalo News following the game. There's also a 10-year anniversary story.
From the late Jim Kelley: "The pain of losing the Stanley Cup at home -- both for the Sabres and their legions of Western New York fans -- is still too real to even deal with fully right now. The thought that it may have been won on a tainted goal is an embarrassment the National Hockey League may never live down."
From Jerry Sullivan: "Fans in Buffalo will look back on that 2-1 triple overtime defeat for years to come, the way they reflect on Scott Norwood's missed field goal in Super Bowl XXV. They will shake their heads and wonder if there is some hex on our sports teams, after all."
From Bucky Gleason's game story: "Somebody should have called from upstairs and said, 'This is not a goal.' All I wanted was a review," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I wanted (NHL Commissioner Gary) Bettman to answer the question of why this wasn't reviewed. He turned his back on me. It was almost as if he knew this goal was tainted."
From the late Larry Felser: "It was Dallas goalie Ed Belfour who turned the Sabres' planned flight back to Dallas into a pumpkin. Less than a minute after the game ended, as the Stars tumbled off their bench on to the ice in a happy frenzy, the Buffalo crowd began chanting "Eddie! Eddie!" It was a classy salute to a nemesis from a Buffalo crowd fighting its own fatigue and a numbness born of disappointment, which was creeping into its psyche."
From Budd Bailey's sidebar: "The Sabres threw their best offensive at the Dallas Stars in Game Six of the Stanley Cup finals. It just wasn't good enough. ... Buffalo had 54 shots in the game, by far its highest total of the series. It had 32 in the first 60 minutes of play. The previous high in the series was 24 back in Game One, and even that figure was inflated by overtime."
From former News Sports Reporter Vic Carucci: "The man who scored the winning goal for the Dallas Stars' Stanley Cup-clinching victory over the Buffalo Sabres this morning was a physical wreck. His left knee was disheveled. Both of his groin muscles were torn to shreds. Yet winger Brett Hull, who missed Game Four and played sparingly in Game Five, managed to remain on the ice through three overtimes to finally end the marathon that was Game Six by putting the puck over a sprawled Dominik Hasek for a 2-1 Stars victory."
From me on the 10-year anniversary: "I think when I talk to a lot of guys from that team, we all still remember the great run more than the No Goal," said Michael Peca.