It was a small request from Seymour H. Knox III on opening day at Memorial Auditorium – “Can I have a puck please?”
As the fans packed in on October 15, 1970 for the Buffalo Sabres first home game in franchise history - against the Montreal Canadiens - Knox and NHL officials realized one item was missing.
The red carpet had been rolled, the ceremonial faceoff had been set and League President Clarence Campbell, Habs owner Bill Molson and Buffalo Mayor Frank Sedita were already finished with their speeches.
Now all they needed was a puck.
It was as humorous moment as Sabres’ trainer Frank Christie ran to the bench to retrieve one for Knox. After a laugh, Sabres’ captain Floyd Smith and Canadiens’ leader Jean Beliveau took the draw.
The result wasn’t a favorable one for the Sabres, who dropped the contest in a 3-0 decision, but it was the start of NHL hockey in Buffalo – which was more than Knox could ask for.