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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Rick Dudley

(Born on January 31, 1949) -- Rick Dudley and the Buffalo Sabres have been together a couple of times over the years. He’s always brought intensity to his work, making him a fan favorite.

Dudley grew up in Port Credit, Ont., and worked his way up to the Buffalo Sabres roster in 1972. The winger was good for three seasons here, as he had an aggressive style mixed with a scoring touch.

Dudley was a big part of the Sabres’ team that played the Flyers in the 1975 Stanley Cup finals.
Then Dudley opted to jump to the World Hockey Association. The Cincinnati Stingers kept him until 1979, when the Sabres acquired his rights. Buffalo lost him on waivers to Winnipeg a year later, and he wore #99 for the Jets.

After retirement, Dudley turned to coaching. He worked at a variety of levels in the minor leagues. Then he took over the Sabres’ head-coaching position in 1989, and led Buffalo to a fine season in 1989-90 (98 points). But a first-round playoff loss didn’t go over well, and the next season ended no better. Dudley was let go in the middle of the 1991-92 campaign.

He moved to the front office of NHL teams, working as the general manager of the Senators, Lightning, Panthers and Thrashers. From there he joined Montreal’s organization in 2011.

--- Budd Bailey

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