(Born December 2, 1937) -- On a day that the Sabres were born - December 2, 1969 to be precise - it’s only fitting to pay tribute to a player that played for that team’s predecesor.
Billy Carter took his time coming to Buffalo. He was born in Cornwall, Ont., and played for the Hochelaga Indians of the Quebec league at the age of 17. Two years later, in 1956-57, it was on to the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens.
The center made the American Hockey League for the first time in 1957-58, when he played in one game in Rochester. Eventually he was off to stops in a variety of places, including Quebec, Seattle, Memphis, and Omaha.
Finally, Buffalo beckoned. He played on the 1965-66 team, scoring 61 points in 71 games. He followed that up with a 52-points season in 1966-67. It was back to Omaha and Denver in the two seasons after that.
At least in the middle of all that, Carter made some appearances in the NHL. He played eight games for Boston and eight more for Montreal. However, he never did get that first NHL point.
--- Budd Bailey