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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Jim Lorentz

     (Born May 1, 1947) -- For those making up a list of the best trades ever made from a hospital bed, the acquisition of Jim Lorentz probably is at the top of the list.

     Lorentz played junior hockey in Niagara Falls, Ont., and worked his way up through the Boston Bruins' organization. He was something of a spare part on the 1970 Bruins' team that won the Stanley Cup. Lorentz was dealt to the St. Louis Blues for a first-round draft choice, and then went to the New York Rangers.

     In January of 1972, Sabres' general manager Punch Imlach was in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. Apparently he had a phone by his bed, because he completed a deal for Lorentz. Buffalo gave up a second-round pick.

     It was a great deal for the Sabres. Lorentz played through 1978 and was a dependable scorer, reaching 20 goals in four separate seasons. He's well remembered for killing a bat that was hovering over the ice during the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals.

     After his playing days were over, Lorentz made a smooth transition into the broadcast booth. He spent 26 years as a commentator with the Sabres, retiring in 2007. Lorentz, who did some writing for the Sabres' program, is said to be working on a book on fishing.

--- Budd Bailey

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