Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

May 7, 2006

Sabres are stylin’, it’s notta the hair

Old-timers are likely to tell you that nothing can compare with the good old days, that the new Buffalo Sabres are not as good as the old Buffalo Sabres — the team that reached the Stanley Cup finals in 1975.

Having seen almost every home game at Memorial Auditorium and all of Buffalo’s playoff games — home and away — in the 1970s, I might be inclined to say how much better it was 30 years ago. However I won’t burst the bubble of the new fans, especially those who weren’t alive when the French Connection opened up the confined Aud ice and defensemen Jim Schoenfeld and Jerry Korab made the rink seem smaller to opponents.

It is different today but not less exciting.

The biggest difference was hair. No matter where you sat in the Aud, you could recognize the players by their hair. Schony, who made his home on Pine Street in Lockport, had the red locks. King Kong Korab had long black hair. Rick Dudley was bearded and a bit wild as he reinvented himself from being a fourth line goon to a goal-scorer.

The only Sabre smart enough to wear a helmet was Craig Ramsay, who looked like a Doonesbury character, and perhaps the Batman, Jim Lorentz.

Of course, Danny Gare had no neck and was quite pugnacious for a baby-faced triggerman on the checking line.

Believe it or not, NHL players would claim their hairdos as tax deductions. Tracy Pratt, an otherwise innocuous defenseman, was called to testify by the IRS.

Bill Hajt was also a boring defenseman, but he had a way of pinning a charging forward to the boards without making any noise.

One of the saddest sights in my life was seeing Clarke carry the Cup around the Aud. We so wanted Captain Schoenfeld to have that honor for the Sabres.

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