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Sabres mourn the loss of alumnus Fred Stanfield

Forward spent four seasons in Buffalo, remained in WNY after retirment

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Buffalo Sabres alumnus Fred Stanfield, a member of the 1974-75 team that reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history, passed away Monday at the age of 77.  

Stanfield played 14 NHL seasons with Chicago, Boston, Minnesota, and Buffalo and was a key producer on Boston Bruins teams that won the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972. 

"The Buffalo Sabres mourn the loss of alumnus Fred Stanfield," the team said in a statement. "A two-time Stanley Cup champion before he donned blue and gold, Fred joined the Sabres during the 1974-75 season and instantly became a key producer and respected veteran on one of the great teams in franchise history. We are honored that he chose to make Western New York his home for more than four decades after his retirement. We extend our sympathies to Fred's family and friends during this difficult time.

Stanfield was acquired by the Sabres on Jan. 27, 1975, a move made by general manager Punch Imlach to add veteran experience at forward and a left shot at the point on the power play. He tallied 33 points over the final 32 games that season and added six points during the team's playoff run. 

"I felt very comfortable here in Buffalo because of the players here and I felt we could win every game," Stanfield said in 2019. "So, I had a lot of respect for my teammates, and they made me feel comfortable right from day one."

Stanfield spent his last four NHL seasons with the Sabres before concluding his career with AHL Hershey. He returned to the region to coach junior hockey with the Niagara Falls Flyers, started an office furniture business in Amherst and never left. 

He was among the alumni celebrated when the Sabres held '70s Night at KeyBank Center during the 2019-20 season. 

"We love it here," he said then. "This is our home."

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