Jan. 14, 1972 -- It seemed like something of a minor trade at the time, but it worked out very well for the Buffalo Sabres. In addition, it's one of the best anecdotes about the early history of the Sabres.
Punch Imlach was in his second season of running the Sabres in 1971-72. He had served as general manager and coach since the franchise was formed, but his heart problems acted up in the second season and it was off to the hospital to get some treatment and rest.
However, the phone in the hospital still worked. So Imlach send a second-round draft choice in the 1972 draft to the New York Rangers for Jim Lorentz.
This was a deal that paid off for years to come. Lorentz had won a Stanley Cup in Boston in 1970 as a fourth-line in 1970, but he never got to be a regular until arriving in Buffalo. Then, he became a regular, scoring more than 20 goals four times as a Sabre.
Lorentz was finished as a player in 1978, but he wasn't done contributing. He worked on the Sabres' broadcasts for many of the next 30 years. Jim even wrote some articles for the team's program.
--- Budd Bailey