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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: The front of the line

     February 2, 1980 -- The Buffalo Sabres were in the midst of their 10th anniversary season during the 1979-80 campaign. It seemed like a good time to start recognizing those who had contributed to the franchise's success in that time.

     Thus, the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame was born. The Class of 1980 entered in a pregame ceremony, and they brought back some memories.

     Punch Imlach was an obvious choice. He was hired as coach and general manager before Game One, and stayed on as GM through 1978. Imlach came back a little more than a year after his departure to take a well-deserved bow.

     Then there was Roger Crozier. The goalie didn't have much help on defense at times in the early years, but ranks as one of the most spectacular goalies in Sabre history. Between Crozier and Gil Perreault, who was still playing for the Sabres on that night, the team always had a chance to be entertaining.

     The final pick was Frank Christie. He started working as a stick boy for the New York Americans in 1933, and landed a job as a trainer for the AHL Bisons after World War II. Christie stayed on in that position when the Bisons turned into the Sabres in 1970. He worked for the team until his death in 1986.

    The Sabres have inducted many more people who were part of Buffalo's hockey legacy. These three started that tradition.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.