ADVERTISEMENT

From the Spin of the Wheel in 1970 to the players who will take the ice Friday night in Ottawa to begin another season, the men who have skated for the Buffalo Sabres have taken their fans through four decades of memories.

Think of all the great moments at the Aud and HSBC Arena. Think of all the personalities. Bert and Rico, Schoeny and Spinner, King Kong and Rayzor, The Entertainer, The Boogey Man, Tickets, Rammer, and, of course, The French Connection and The Dominator.

When they appear in the opening night lineup, newcomers Rob Niedermayer, Jordan Leopold and Shaone Morrisonn will give the Sabres 381 players (344 skaters, 37 goalies) who have appeared in at least one game in club history. Cody McCormick, who will be making his regular-season debut, joins the immortal Michel Deziel (1974-75) as the only players to first appear for Buffalo in a playoff game.

In honor of the opening faceoff to the 40th anniversary season, we present our choices for the top 40 players in Sabres history. The selections were made through a poll of a cross section of 12 current and former News staffers, all of whom have been connected to covering the Sabres or Buffalo sports for at least 20 years.

This was a players-only poll. No offense to anyone, but owners, coaches, GMs, other executives, trainers and broadcasters need not apply. Many of them, of course, are woven into the fabric of this franchise, but this group is all about the men on the ice.

From Afinogenov to Zhitnik, from the Blue and Gold to the Black and Red, from the classic crossed swords to the goat head and slug, here are our choices and a sketch of each player's career. The rundowns include where each player landed in the fan poll we conducted last month at Buffalonews.com; you can read more about those results on Page B10.

40. Lindy Ruff

Number: 22

Position: Defense/wing

Years: 1979-89

Conf. finals: 1980

Fanpoll: 19

Once upon a time, Sabres longtime head coach was a hardnosed rookie on the 1980 semifinalists. Went on to play 10 seasons here at both forward and defense, eventually becoming team captain before a falling out with coach Ted Sator led to 1989 trade to New York Rangers. Had career high of 20 goals in 1985-86 including four-goal game vs. Quebec. Endeared himself to fans forever for takedown of reviled Islanders goalie Billy Smith in closing game of 1980 semifinals.

39. Tim Horton

Number: 2

Position: Defense

Years: 1972-74

StanleyCup: 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967 (Toronto)

Hall of Fame: 1977

Fanpoll: 23

So much more than doughnuts. Played only 124 of his 1,446 NHL games with Sabres and scored just one goal here but was a beloved veteran figure in the locker room to a then baby-faced crew. Was a rock on first playoff team in 1973 and a mentor to players like future captain Jim Schoenfeld. Died in car accident on QEW on Feb. 21, 1974 while driving home from Sabres game in Toronto.

38. Tyler Myers

Number: 57

Position: Defense

Years: 2009-present

Trophies: Calder (2010)

Fanpoll: 38

"The Big Easy" made it look that way in one of the most spectacular rookie seasons in franchise history. By the time it was over, he had emerged as the team's No. 1 defenseman, scored 48 points and routinely played 25 minutes per game. The tallest player in team annals at 6-feet-8, it's hoped
that Myers will become one of the game's dominant blueliners and a perennial NorrisTrophy contender.

37. Tony McKegney

Number: 8

Position: Left wing

Years: 1978-83

Conf. finals: 1980

Fanpoll: 44

The first black Canadian to make major impact in the NHL, McKegney spent the first five of his 14 NHL seasons here and was a key member of the offense with 128 goals overall and a high of 37 in 1980-81. Was initially ticketed for Birmingham of the WHA but racial concerns in South made ownership nix the deal and Sabres drafted him. Finished with 320 NHL goals, including career highs of 40 goals and 78points for St. Louis in 1987-88.

36. Stu Barnes

Number: 41

Position: Center

Years: 1999-2003

Cupfinals: 1999

Conf. finals: 1999

Fanpoll: 39

More than a decade after the "Luuuuuce" chants went quiet at the Aud, "Stuuuuuu" became the cry in Marine Midland Arena. Played parts of five seasons in Buffalo and eventually became captain in 2003. Had no goals in 17 games after being acquired at the trade deadline in 1999 but went on to score seven goals in the playoffs including only Buffalo tally in No Goal game. Had 20 goals for Sabres in 1999-2000. Played final five seasons
in Dallas and is currently an assistant coach there.

35. Donald Audette

Number: 28

Position: Right wing

Years: 1990-1998, 2001

Fanpoll: 43

A ninth-round pick in 1989, the Quebec native overcame his small stature (5-foot- 8) to score 166 goals for Buffalo in parts of nine seasons and 260
overall. Had 31 for Sabres in 1991-92 rookie season and career-high 34 in 2000-01, when he split time with Atlanta and then briefly returned to Buffalo. Struggled with knee injuries throughout career and retired in 2004.

34. Ric Seiling

Number: 16

Position: Right wing

Years: 1977-86

Conf. finals: 1980

Fanpoll: 46

Although best known as the guy the Sabres took in the first round in 1977 instead of Hall of Famer Mike Bossy, the gritty winger became a solid two-way player for nine seasons and scored 176 goals. Had four 20-goal campaigns, topped by a 30-goal season in 1980-81. Finished career in Detroit in 1987. Has worked as a broadcaster for the Rochester Amerks since 2005.

33. Alexei Zhitnik

Number: 44

Position: Defense

Years: 1994-2004

Cupfinals: 1999

Conf. finals: 1998, 1999

Fanpoll: 42

Second-last alphabetically on Sabres' all-time roster to Dainius Zubrus, the Russian defenseman was acquired from Los Angeles in 1995 and was a mainstay on defense for the next nine seasons. Known for his booming, albeit erratic, shot from the point, he had career highs in goals (15) and points (45) in 1997-98 and averaged more than 25 minutes per game for 1999 finalists. Finished career in 2008 with Atlanta.

32. Jim Lorentz

Number: 8

Position: Center

Years: 1971-1978

Stanley Cup: 1970 (Boston)

Cupfinals: 1975

Conf. finals: 1975

Fanpoll: 29

Longtime beloved broadcaster was a sharp two-way forward for seven years during the glory years of the 1970s, scoring 161 goals. Had career-high 27 goals for 1973 playoff team and career-high 70 points for 1975 finalists, when he earned the nickname "Batman" for killing bat that swooped from Aud rafters during Fog Game against Flyers in Cup finals. Retired from Sabres in 1978.

31. Jay McKee

Number: 74

Position: Defense

Years: 1995-2006

Cupfinals: 1999

Conf. finals:1998, 1999, 2006

Fanpoll: 33

Shot-blocker extraordinaire was Sabres' first-round pick in 1995 and played nine seasons. Missed Game Seven of 2006 conference final at Carolina with sudden infection in leg; loyalists insist team would have won Stanley Cup had he played. Contributions far exceeded stats as he never scored more than five goals or 17 points in any season. Left via free agency for St. Louis in 2006 and played last year for Pittsburgh; still unsigned for 2010-11.

30. Rob Ray

Number: 32

Position: Right wing

Years: 1989-2003

Trophies: King Clancy (1999)

Cupfinals: 1999

Conf. finals: 1998, 1999

Fanpoll: 16

The most popular enforcer in team history, he made his debut in 1989 (scoring on his first shot at Pittsburgh). Finished career in 2004 with 3,207 penalty minutes, sixth on the all-time list, and got Aud penalty box door as a souvenir from the building. Still holds franchise mark with 354 PIM in
1991-92. "Rob Ray Rule" prohibits players from shedding sweaters and equipment during fights.

29. Larry Playfair

Number: 27

Position: Defense

Years: 1978-86, 1988-90

Conf. finals: 1980

Fanpoll: 26

Knocked cold by a John Wensink elbow on his first career shift in Boston in 1978, the burly defenseman got up to be one of the most feared enforcers in team history. Ex-No. 1 draft pick led the team in PIMs for six straight years. Played eight years for Sabres before 1986 trade to Los Angeles, then returned in 1988 for final 46 career games with Buffalo. Has served team as a broadcaster and leadership role with alumni association.

28. Brian Campbell

Number: 51

Position: Defense

Years: 1999-2008

StanleyCup: 2010 (Chicago)

Conf. finals: 2006, 2007

Fanpoll: 31

Ascended from sixthround pick in 1997 to healthy scratch to mainstay on defense. Red-headed fan favorite nicknamed "Soupy" had 12 goals and 44 points for 2006 conference finalists. Scored only goal in 2008 Winter Classic but was dealt to San Jose at the trade deadline. Currently playing on
$57 million deal with Chicago, where he won first Cup in June.

27. Thomas Vanek

Number: 26

Position: Center

Years: 2005-present

Conf. finals: 2006, 2007

Fanpoll: 28

Austrian first wowed Buffalo fans as MVP of 2003 Frozen Four won by Minnesota in HSBC Arena. Was No. 5 overall pick in NHL draft three months later and has scored 172 goals in five NHL seasons, hitting 40 mark twice. Remains highest paid player in Sabres history, with $50
million deal signed in 2007 after Edmonton offer sheet rocked hockey world.

26. Miroslav Satan

Number: 81

Position: Right wing

Years: 1996-2004

StanleyCup: 2009 (Pittsburgh)

Cupfinals: 1999

Conf. finals: 1998, 1999

Fanpoll: 45

Enigmatic Slovak ranks seventh in team history with 224 goals, including a career-high 40 for 1999 finalists. Played eight years in Buffalo and has played for three other teams. Stunned Sabres with double-overtime goal in Game Four last year for Boston.

25. Jerry Korab

Number: 4

Position: Defense

Years: 1973-80, 1983-85

Cupfinals: 1975

Conf. finals: 1975

Fanpoll: 30

"King Kong" was a ferocious defender with offensive skills featuring a hard slap shot. Played nine seasons over two stints in Buffalo. Had career highs in assists (44), points (56) and penalty minutes (184) for 1975 finalists. Traded to Los Angeles in 1980 for draft pick that was turned into
Phil Housley.

24. Roger Crozier

Number: 1

Position: Goalie

Years: 1970-75

Trophies: Conn Smythe (1965, Detroit)

Cupfinals: 1975

Conf. finals: 1975

Fanpoll: 25

The 5-foot-8, crossbar-grabbing acrobat was the Sabres' first true veteran star. Kept the Blue and Gold afloat many nights during the lean first two seasons (faced 2,190 shots in 1971-72, which is still a franchise record), then served well all the way through the '75 finals, winning the Fog Game. Was first player inducted into Sabres Hall of Fame (1980). Died of cancer in 1996 at age 53.

23. Tom Barrasso

Number: 30

Position: Goalie

Years: 1983-89

All-Star:9 times

Trophies: Calder (1983), Vezina (1983), Jennings (1985)

StanleyCup: 1991-92 (Pittsburgh)

Fanpoll: 21

Came straight from high school to the Sabres in 1983 and was an instant star at age 18, becoming just third player to win Calder and Vezina in
same season. Did not win a playoff series in Buffalo but blossomed as a money goalie over 12 seasons for Pittsburgh, winning two Stanley Cups.
Retired in 2003 and is currently Carolina's goaltending coach.

22. Pierre Turgeon

Number: 77

Position: Center

Years: 1987-91

Fanpoll: 24

No. 1 pick in 1987 lived in the shadow of being the next Gil Perreault over his four-plus seasons here. Had 40 goals and 106 points in 1990 but was often chided for team's playoff failures and was traded to Islanders for Pat LaFontaine in 1991. Recorded 132-point season in 1992-1993 as Isles
made East finals. Finished career in 2007 with Colorado, with totals of 515 goals and 1,327 points three more goals and one more point than
Perreault.

21. Don Edwards

Number: 1

Position: Goalie

Years: 1977-82

Trophies: Vezina (1979)

Conf. finals: 1980

Fanpoll: 27

Joined Sabres as a 21-year-old rookie in February 1977 following eye injury to Gerry Desjardins and as an immediate sensation as he went 16-7-2. Played six of 11 seasons in Buffalo, winning career high 38 games in 1977-78 and sharing Vezina with Bob Sauve for 1980 semifinalists. His 156 wins rank him third behind Dominik Hasek and Ryan Miller. Was named MVP of 6-1 win over Soviet Red Army in 1980. Finished career in
Toronto in 1986.

20. Dale Hawerchuk

Number: 10

Position: Center

Years: 1990-95

All-Star:9 times

Trophies: Calder (Winnipeg, 1982)

Hall of Fame:2001

Fanpoll: 22

Former No. 1 overall pick in 1981 joined team in blockbuster 1990 trade from Winnipeg, where he posted six 100-point seasons and seven 40-goal campaigns. Led Sabres in scoring three times in five years with highs of 35 goals in 1993-94, 80 assists in 1992-93 and 98 points in 1991-92. Retired
following 1997 Cup final in Philadelphia and his 1,409 points are 18th in NHL history. Named coach of OHL's Barrie Colts in June.

19. Bill Hajt

Number: 24

Position: Defense

Years: 1973-85

Cupfinals: 1975

Conf. finals:1975, 1980

Fanpoll: 32

Played all 854 career games with Sabres, second among Buffalo defensemen. Classic stay-at-home blueliner who never posted more than six goals or 29 points in a season and had minus rating just once in 13 seasons. Had only two goals in 80 playoff games but one was game-tying tally in third period of '75 Fog Game vs. Flyers.

18. Mike Foligno

Number: 17

Position: Right wing

Years: 1981-91

Fanpoll: 13

Played 10 seasons with Sabres after coming in 1981 blockbuster deal with Detroit and was one of team's top players of the '80s, eventually becoming captain in 1989-90. Had career highs of 41 goals and 80 points in 1985-86 and became noted for leaping, two-foot stomp after goals.
Reached conference finals with Toronto in 1993 and retired with Florida in 1994. Son Marcus is a Sabres prospect. Took job this season as assistant coach in Anaheim.

17. Chris Drury

Number: 23

Position: Center

Years: 2003-07

Trophies: Calder (Colorado, 1999)

StanleyCup: 2001 (Colorado)

Conf. finals: 2006, 2007

Fanpoll: 18

Heart-and-soul player of post-lockout power teams who made major impact in just three seasons after 2003 trade with Calgary. Had career highs of 37 goals and 69 points in 2006-07 and scored dramatic tying goal with 7.7 seconds left in Game Five of second-round win over Rangers. Signed $35.25 million deal with Rangers on July 1, 2007, but had only 14 goals last season.

16. Daniel Briere

Number: 48

Position: Center

Years: 2003-07

Conf. finals: 2006, 2007

Fanpoll: 17

Acquired in 2003 from Phoenix for Chris Gratton in one of great steals in franchise history and shared co-captaincy with Chris Drury while emerging as one of league's most dynamic players. Had career season in 2006-07 (32-63-95) and was named All-Star Game MVP. Signed eight-year,
$52-million deal with Philadelphia on July 1, 2007, and led Flyers to 2010 finals with 30 points in 23playoff games.

15. Phil Housley

Number: 6

Position: Defense

Years: 1982-1990

Fanpoll: 12

Picked sixth overall by Sabres in 1982 and played immediately as an 18-year-old, earning Rick Jeanneret nickname of "Wowee Housley" over his eight seasons. Had 81-point campaign in 1989-90. Dealt to Winnipeg for Dale Hawerchuk following season. Fourth in assists (380) and fifth in
points (558) for Sabres. Highest-scoring U.S. defenseman and second overall among U.S. players with 1,232 points (behind only Mike Modano). Played 21 seasons overall with eight teams, retiring in 2003.

14. Michael Peca

Number: 27

Position: Center

Years: 1995-00

Trophies: Selke (1997, 2002)

Cupfinals: 1999

Conf. finals: 1998, 1999

Fanpoll: 15

Captain Crunch was the leader of the '99 finalists, a rugged center who could beat you up physically and beat you to the puck to score a key
goal. Played five years here, scoring final goal at Aud in 1996 and notching career high 27 goals for '98-99 team. Sat out entire 2000-01 season
in bitter contract dispute and was traded to Islanders for Tim Connolly in 2001. Finished one win away from Cup in 2006 with Edmonton.

13. Dave Andreychuk

Number: 25

Position: Left wing

Years: 1982-93, 2000-01

StanleyCup: 2004 (Tampa Bay)

Fanpoll: 8

NHL's all-time leader in PPG (274) played first 11 of 24 seasons in Buffalo and returned for one more in 2000. Like Phil Housley and Pierre Turgeon, took plenty of heat for playoff failures in '80s. Third in team history in goals (368) and second in assists (436) and points (804).
Had seven 30-goal seasons here, topped by 41 in 1991-92. Had career high of 53 goals with Toronto in 1994. Captained Tampa Bay to only
Stanley Cup in 2004 and retired in 2006.

12. Don Luce

Number: 20

Position: Center

Years: 1971-81

All-Star:9 times

Trophies:Masterton (1975)

Cupfinals: 1975

Conf. finals: 1975, 1980

Fanpoll: 20

Cries of "Luuuuuce" filled the Aud for popular center considered team's best penalty killer ever. Set then-NHL record with eight shorthanded goals in 1974-75. Might have won several Selke Trophy awards for defensive forward had it been established. Had career highs in goals (33) and points (76) for '75 finalists and set franchise mark with plus- 61 rating. Retired in 1982 and embarked on front office career for 20 years with Sabres.

11. Rene Robert

Number: 14 (retired 1995)

Position: Right wing

Years: 1972-79

Cupfinals: 1975

Conf. finals:1975

Fanpoll: 4

Flashy right winger on French Connection posted franchise's first 100-point season (40-60-100) for '75 finalists, setting career highs in goals and points. Acquired for Eddie Shack in 1972 trade with Pittsburgh, scored first playoff OT goal in franchise history in 1973 at Montreal and won Fog Game with OT tally in '75 vs. Philly. Played parts of eight seasons before trade to Colorado in 1979. Retired with Toronto in 1982.

10. Jim Schoenfeld

Number: 6

Position: Defense

Years: 1972-82, 1984-85

Cupfinals: 1975

Conf. finals: 1975, 1980

Fanpoll: 9

Fifth overall pick out of Niagara Falls (Ont.) in 1972 played 11 seasons here and was longtime captain, including 1975 finalists. Never had more than nine goals or 36 points in a season and most remembered for long red hair and rugged style of play, topped by through-the-Zamboni-entrance tussle with Boston's Wayne Cashman in '72. Coached Sabres for 43 games in 1985-86 and is an assistant GMwith Rangers.

9. Ryan Miller

Number: 30

Position: Goalie

Years: 2002-present

Trophies: Vezina (2010)

Conf. finals: 2006, 2007

Fanpoll: 7

Backbone of current team and face of the franchise will likely challenge all of Hasek's team records. Coming off career season in wins (41), goals-against (2.22) and save percentage (.929) and became national media darling in wake of silver medal performance at Vancouver Olympics. Became No. 1 goalie after lockout following three strong seasons in Rochester. Beloved in Buffalo for play on the ice and charitable work off it.

8. Alexander Mogilny

Number: 89

Position: Right wing

Years: 1989-95

StanleyCup: 2000 (New Jersey)

Fanpoll: 14

"Alexander the Great" came from Russia, scored 20 seconds into his first game in 1989 and scored 210 more goals in six years in Buffalo. His breathtaking 76-goal campaign in 1992-93 is a club record and tied for fifth all-time. An enigmatic personality with a celebrated fear of flying, Mogilny finished with 473 goals in 16 NHL seasons and won a Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2000. Played three years with Toronto and finished career with Devils in 2006.

7. Craig Ramsay

Number: 10

Position: Left wing

Years: 1971-85

Trophies: Selke (1985)

StanleyCup: 2004 (Tampa Bay, assistant coach)

Cupfinals: 1975

Conf. finals: 1975, 1980

Fanpoll: 11

An ironman who once played 776 consecutive games, "Rammer" was one of finest two-way players in franchise history. Known for joining Don Luce as a defensive demon, Ramsay played all 1,070 games in his 14-year career in Buffalo, second only to Gilbert Perreault. Fifth in goals (252), third in assists (420) and fourth in points (672).

6. Mike Ramsey

Number: 5

Position: Defense

Years: 1979-93

Conf. finals: 1980

Fanpoll: 10

Graduated directly from Miracle on Ice team to NHL at age 19 and stayed as anchor of Sabres' defense until 1993, playing third-most games in franchise history (911) and most ever by a defenseman. Formerfirst-round draft pick never scored more than nine goals or 40 points in a season, and was known far more for ferocious hitting, exceptional shot blocking and great leadership that turned him into team captain. Finished career with Pittsburgh, under former Sabres coach Scotty Bowman, and Detroit before retiring in 1997. Spent three seasons as Sabres assistant coach under ex-teammate Lindy Ruff, including staff of 1999 finalists, and 10 seasons on staff of hometown Minnesota Wild. Stepped down from coaching in
June to spend more time with family. Was inducted into United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.

5. DannyGare

Number: 18 (retired 2005)

Position: Right wing

Years: 1974-81

Cupfinals: 1975

Conf. finals: 1975, 1980

Fanpoll: 6

Scrappy matinee idol scored 18 seconds into first game in 1974 vs. Boston and tallied 267 career goals, most in franchise history by a right winger. Only 5-foot-9, he was a pugnacious battler with strong fists and a stronger wrist shot. Captained team from 1977 to '82. Shares team record for playoff overtime goals (3) with Rene Robert. Scored hat trick in regular season finale against Toronto in 1975-76 to finish season with 50 goals. Had club-record 56 goals for 1980 semifinalists, mark that stood for 13 years, and had 46 goals next season before getting dealt to Detroit in 1981 with Jim Schoenfeld in trade that landed Mike Foligno. Played five years for Detroit before finishing career in Edmonton in 1987. Since retirement, spent many years as broadcaster with Sabres and Columbus as well as two years an an assistant coach in Tampa Bay.

4. RickMartin

Number: 7 (Retired 1995)

Position: Left wing

Years: 1971-1981

Cupfinals: 1975

Conf. finals: 1975, 1980

Fanpoll: 5

Broke Gil Perreault's NHL rookie record with 44 goals in 1971-72, embarking on career that saw him finish second on team'sall-time list with 382 goals. Booming slap shot made him one of the NHL's biggest threats on the wing during the 1970s. Became franchise's first 50-goal man, with back-to-back 52-goal seasons in 1973-74 and '74-75, and had 49 goals in '75-76. Thrilled Aud crowd with tying goal late in 1978 All- Star Game, contest eventually won in overtime by Perreault. Had 45 goals for 1980 semifinalists but severe knee injury curtailed career and he was traded to Los Angeles in 1981 with Don Luce. Played just four games for Kings before retiring that fall at age 30. Modern medicine likely would have kept him going and on the road to 500 goals. Joined Rene Robert in having French Connection number retired in 1995 ceremony.

3. PatLaFontaine

Number: 16 (Retired 2006)

Position: Center

Years: 1991-97

Trophies: Masterton (1995)

Hall of Fame: 2003

Fanpoll: 3

Thanks to Rick Jeanneret, "La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-LaFontaine" became a local buzzword in the '90s. Played seven-plus seasons for Islanders before contract dispute allowed Sabres to land him in 1991 trade for PierreTurgeon. Dynamic skater and playmaker became instant fan favorite. Posted team records that still stand of 148 points and 95 assists in 1992-93, combining with Alexander Mogilny to become most lethal 1-2 duo in franchise history. His point total remains an NHL record for an American-born player. Injuries (jaw, knee, concussion) shortened career and he played 60 games just twice in six Buffalo seasons. Dispute over concussions led to a relatively ugly divorce from the team and trade to the Rangers in 1997. Spent five seasons as team captain and became pillar of community for work with numerous children's charity causes. Will we ever forget
tap-in under the spotlight for the final goal of closing ceremony at The Aud?

2. Gilbert Perreault

Number: 11 (Retired 1990)

Position: Center

Years: 1970-1987

Trophies: Calder (1971), Lady Byng (1973)

Cupfinals: 1975

Conf. finals: 1975, 1980

Hall of Fame: 1990

Fanpoll: 1

A spin of a roulette wheel by NHL President Clarence Campbell in 1970 landed on No. 11, giving the Sabres the first pick in their first draft and the rest is Buffalo sports history. Played 17 NHL seasons, all in Buffalo, and still remains franchise leader in games (1,191), goals (512), assists (814) and points (1,326) as he gets ready to turn 60 on Nov. 13. No player in the Blue and Gold brought the crowd to its feet with his end-to-end, free-wheeling rushes up ice as often as Perreault did. Had career year in all three categories (44-69-113) in 1975-76. Scored winning goal in franchise's first game, 2-1 win at Pittsburgh on Oct. 10, 1970. Set NHL rookie record with 38 goals in 1970-71. Scored overtime winner in 1978 All-Star Game at Aud. Upstaged Wayne Gretzky with hat trick in famous 1982 showdown in Aud until Gretzky compiled trick of his own in final seven minutes to break Phil Esposito's single-season goal record. Was captain from 1982 until retirement 20 games into 1987 season. Has coached and owned Quebec junior teams, dabbled in real estate and served as Sabres ambassador since retirement. Contemporary fans love his Elvis impersonation that plays on arena HD board after Sabre victories.

1. DominikHasek

Number: 39

Position: Goal

Years: 1992-2001

Trophies: Hart (1997, 1998), Pearson (1997, 1998), Vezina (1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000), Jennings (1994, 2001)

Cupfinals: 1999

Conf. finals: 1998, 1999

StanleyCup: 2002, 2008 (with Detroit)

Fanpoll: 2

The Dominator. A nickname unparalleled in franchise history. The enigmatic Czech with the slinky for a spine was acquired from Chicago in a lopsided trade (for Stephane Beauregard) in 1992 and led the team through its glory days of the 1990s, within two games of a Stanley Cup before "No Goal" foiled the dream. Also led his home country to dramatic gold medal in 1998 Nagano Olympics. Is only goalie to win two Hart trophies; set NHL record with .937 save percentage in 1998-99. Possessed legendary work ethic, before and after games and during practice. Sided with
GMJohnMuckler in 1997 feud with coach Ted Nolan and drew ire of fans and media for missing playoffs with suspect knee injury. Made amends next season by playing 72 games and setting franchise mark with 13 shutouts. Had 55 shutouts in Buffalo no other Sabre has more than 18 and had 2.22 career goals-against average. Currently leads franchise with 234 wins, although Ryan Miller (187) should catch him in next two years. Traded to Detroit and won first Stanley Cup in 2002, before embarking on Brett Favre-like pattern of retirements and comebacks. Has not appeared in NHL since 2008.