The Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame will be inducting five new members in a pre-game ceremony on Tuesday night, prior to the 7 p.m. game against the New Jersey Devils.
Based on their outstanding contributions to the sport of hockey and the Buffalo Sabres organization, the Class of 2005 consists of former Sabres captain Mike Foligno, former Sabres scout Rudy Migay, Buffalo News reporter Dick Johnston and former members of the Sabres ownership group Robert E. Rich, Jr. and George Strawbridge. Pat LaFontaine is also a member of this year's class. He will be honored in a separate ceremony on Friday, March 3 against Toronto, the night of his jersey retirement.
This year's inductees were announced in March 2004, however the ceremony was delayed due to last season's lockout. MIKE FOLIGNO
Known for his distinctive helmet and unique high-jump goal celebration, Mike Foligno's blue collar work ethic and charismatic personality made him one of the most popular players in team history during his 10 seasons in Buffalo. Foligno appeared in 1,018 NHL games, collecting 727 points (355+372). In 664 games in a Sabres uniform, Foligno scored 247 goals and 264 assists for 511 points. During the 1985-86 season, he collected career-highs in goals (41), assists (39) and points (80). A tireless worker and team leader, Foligno was named captain of the Sabres from 1989-91. Foligno now coaches the Ontario Hockey League's Sudbury Wolves in his hometown of Sudbury, Ont. Foligno's Career Stats with Buffalo:
664 GP; 247G; 264A; 511P; 1,450 PIM GEORGE STRAWBRIDGE
George Strawbridge was first and foremost a steadfast proponent of NHL hockey in Western New York for decades. From 1968, when the Knox-Buffalo Group made their first venture into the NHL with an investment in the Oakland Seals, until 32 years later when the Sabres were sold, Strawbridge has been a key ingredient in the professional hockey mix. A board member of the Campbell Soup Company, Strawbridge was an active director and member of the Sabres executive committee for more than 30 years. In the 1990s, Strawbridge expanded revenue streams and played a leading role in producing new capital for the franchise. When illness and other factors forced the Knox family to limit their involvement, it was Strawbridge's commitment to Buffalo hockey that helped keep the Sabres alive. RUDY MIGAY
After a 14-year playing career that saw him spend parts of 10 seasons with the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, Rudy Migay coached in the minor leagues before joining the Sabres as a scout in 1979. His efforts as an amateur scout provided the Sabres with some of the most talented prospects of the past 25 years. Having logged countless miles in the province of Ontario scouting junior players, Migay's travels have led to the Sabres drafting such players as Dave Andreychuk, Rob Ray, Brad May, Jay McKee, Derek Roy
, and talented prospect Daniel Paille. ROBERT E. RICH JR.
Robert E. Rich, Jr.'s life-long passion for hockey began long before his involvement with the Sabres. As a standout goaltender for Nichols School, Rich was known for his intensity and willingness to do anything to block a shot. Rich's successful high school career led him to Williams College where he played with All-American Tommy Roe under legendary collegiate coach Bill McCormick. After college, Rich was drafted by the then-professional team in Los Angeles, and was the last cut on 1964 US Olympic team. When the Knox Group called for help to start the Sabres, Rich was already passionate about the game. He quickly signed on as one of the founding investors. Since then, his dedication to the sport has been a vital resource to this hockey community. A prominent figure in business, the arts, and professional sports, Rich was a devoted contributor to the Sabres. As a member of the Sabres Board for many years, Rich took over as Vice Chairman in 1997. Rich, along with George Strawbridge, filled the gap when funds for the construction of a new arena (Crossroads) fell short. Rich helped carry the final project through to completion. As a leader in the difficult negotiations with lenders and investors, Rich was instrumental in keeping the team in Western New York when the team was sold in 2000.
Reporter Dick Johnston covered hockey for the Buffalo Evening News long before Seymour and Northrup Knox brought the NHL to town. Considered one of the most knowledgeable hockey writers in the country by both his peers and his readers, Johnston covered the American Hockey League's Buffalo Bisons at the Memorial Auditorium. Respected locally and nationally for his knowledge of hockey, Johnston earned the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award and election to the Hockey Hall of Fame by a vote of the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association in 1986.