About Buffalo Sabres
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The Buffalo Sabres entered the NHL in time for the 1970-71 season as part of a two team expansion that included the Vancouver Canucks. Now in its 38th season, the team has been Division Champions five times; 1975, 1980, 1981, 1997, 2007, and Conference Champs twice; 1975 and 1999. In its two appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals the franchise has lost to the Philadelphia Flyers (1975) and the Dallas Stars (1999). The Buffalo Sabres have made it into the playoffs 27 times.
In the post-lockout era the Sabres went to the Conference Finals in 2006 and 2007. In 2005-06 the team amassed an impressive 110 points, which was good enough for second place in the Northeast. After eliminating the Philadelphia Flyers in six in the Quarterfinals and the Ottawa Senators in five in the Semis, the Sabres fell to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven in the Conference Final. In 2007 the team finished the regular season with 113 points and was Division Champions. They eliminated the New York Islanders in five in the Quarterfinals, the New York Rangers in six in the Semis before being eliminated by the Ottawa Senators in five.
A small market team, the Sabres have always had to watch the pennies – especially in the free agent era. In the 2007 off-season the team lost both co-captains; Chris Drury went to the Rangers, while Daniel Briere went to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Sabres fell to 4th place and finished 2007-2008 out of the playoffs.
In the 2008 off-season the Sabres signed goaltender Patrick Lalime to a two-year contract, traded Steve Bernier to Vancouver for a pair of draft picks, signed Tampa Bay Lightning free agent Mathieu Darche and picked up Craig Rivet from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for the Sabres’ 2009 and 2010 second round draft picks. GM Darcy Regier also added some free agents for the club’s new farm team, the Portland Pirates and signed contract extensions with Paul Gaustad (4 years) Ryan Miller (5 years) and Jason Pominville (5 years). Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff currently holds the longest tenure of any NHL head coach.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are in the Northeast Division of the 3-division Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League.
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