The Buffalo Sabres
joined the NHL in 1970, along with the Vancouver Canucks
, as part of NHL expansion. The team name was chosen because owner Seymour Knox felt that a sabre was a weapon carried by a leader, also noting it is swift and strong on offense as well as defense.
After a few years of existence the Sabres were able to accumulate several good players through the draft and through trades, but were still striving to reach the playoff plateau. In their first playoff appearance, they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. That 1975 series included the "Fog Game" which was played in a heavy fog due to a combination of a heat wave and the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium not having air conditioning. The Sabres won that game but lost the series and the Cup to the Philadelphia Flyers
The team's success after that was limited until 1996-97 when the Sabres won the Northeast Division, their first division title in 16 years. With the emergence of Dominik Hasek
in goal and Lindy Ruff
taking over behind the bench, the team went back to the Stanley Cup Final in 1999, falling to the Dallas Stars
in a six-game series that ended with a triple-overtime thriller. More recently, the Sabres went to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2006 and 2007 and won the Northeast Division last season.
Throughout the years, the Sabres have gone through a few logo and jersey changes. They currently sport blue and yellow team colors, a nod to their original color scheme. They have worn also black and red.