|Tim Horton (Buffalo Sabres)
February 21, 1974 was a dark day in the city of Buffalo.
As the Sabres prepared to face the Atlanta Flames at Memorial Auditorium, they received some tragic news about one of their colleagues.
Defenseman Tim Horton - a veteran of 22 NHL seasons - was involved in a car accident on the QEW coming back from Toronto, and killed.
While Horton only played on Buffalo’s blueline for two seasons, he was widely respected by his teammates.
Appearing in more than 100 games for the Sabres, Horton was a plus-17 and logged 23 points for the Blue and Gold. In his career he saw action in 1,446 contests and he participated in seven NHL All-Star games.
More importantly he was a calming presence in the locker room, and as mild-mannered on the ice as he was off of it.
It was a difficult time for the Queen City and the Sabres organization as a whole. They lost a friend that would be missed by all.
That night, with heavy hearts, the team lined up at the blueline as Horton was honored with a moment of silence. It was an emotional night, as many players openly wept prior to the opening faceoff.
In remembrance, the Sabres wore black armbands on their sleeve for the remainder of the year. Following the regular season, Horton was named as the team’s Most Valuable Player by his teammates.
On January 5, 1996, the Sabres honored Horton once more, as he became the fourth player in franchise history to have his number retired. His No. 2 jersey still hangs in the rafters of HSBC Arena to this day.