The Buffalo Sabres are a professional ice hockey team based in Buffalo, New York. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).
The Sabres, along with the Vancouver Canucks, joined the NHL in the 1970-71 season. Their first owners were Seymour Knox III and Northrup Knox, scions of a family long prominent in Western New York. Buffalo had long been a hotbed for hockey. The Buffalo Bisons had been one of the pillars of the American Hockey League (AHL), winning the Calder Cup in their final season.
Wanting a different name other than "bison" that was so common among Buffalo sports teams, the Knoxes immediately commissioned a name-the-team contest. The winning choice, "Sabres", was chosen because Seymour Knox felt a sabre was a weapon carried by a leader. He also noted that a sabre is swift and strong on offense as well as defense.
The Knoxes had tried twice before to get an NHL team, first when the NHL expanded in 1967, and then unsuccessfully attempting to buy the Oakland Seals with the intent of moving them to Buffalo. At the time of their creation, the Sabres exercised their option to create their own AHL farm team, the Cincinnati Swords.
General manager Darcy Regier announced on the first day of free agency that the Sabres have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent defenseman Steve Montador to a two-year contract. The Sabres also signed free agent defenseman Joe DiPenta to a one-year contract on July 11. They also extended contracts with three other players.
On July 20 the Buffalo Sabres agreed to terms with Andrej Sekera on a multi-year deal and signed Clarke MacArthur to a one-year contract.On August 11 the Sabres signed Mike Grier to a one-year contract. Grier, already having played two seasons with the Sabres, returned after playing the last three with the San Jose Sharks.
At the beginning of the season the Sabres announced the Buffalo Sabres Road Crew which saw appearances by the Sabres coaching staff, GM Darcy Regier and broadcasting crew for charity. A total of four stops were scheduled throughout the season in Tampa, Florida, Washington, D.C., Raleigh, NC and Atlanta at established Buffalo fan clubs. Many native Western New Yorkers now live in those four cities.
On January 1, 2010, the Buffalo Sabres became the first team to win consecutive games when trailing by three or more goals since Dallas did it in January 2006 in beating Anaheim 4-3 in a shootout and Detroit 6-3. Buffalo beat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 in overtime. It was Buffalo's second straight win in a game it trailed 3-0, following a 4-3 victory over Pittsburgh.
On March 3, 2010, the day of the trade deadline, the Sabres made two deals. The first was with the Columbus Blue Jackets which sent them Nathan Paetsch and a second-round draft pick in exchange for Raffi Torres. The Sabres' second and final deal sent Clarke MacArthur to the Atlanta Thrashers for third and fourth-round draft picks.
The Sabres unveiled new jerseys on September 18 that establish the current third "retro" jersey as the official home jersey and adopt a white version of said jersey as the away, with a third jersey having an alternate throwback arrangement that pays homage to the American Hockey League's Buffalo Bisons, complete with the team's 40th Anniversary insignia (basically the original royal blue version of the current logo with the year "1970" inside).
On November 30, 2010, Ken Campbell of The Hockey News reported that billionaire Terrence Pegula has signed a letter of intent to purchase the Sabres from Golisano for US$150 million. Pegula is the founder, President and CEO of East Resources, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. Quinn claims the report is "untrue" but has refused further comment.Golisano reportedly issued a counteroffer with an asking price of US$175 million.