One Of Hockey’s Greatest Players Once Dreamed Of Being A Buffalo Sabre?
Just because a player wants to play on a certain team doesn't mean that always works out for them. If it did, the Buffalo Sabres would have had one of the NHL's greatest.
You've probably heard people talk about how Tom Brady would love to play on the San Francisco 49ers because that's where he's from and how much he would love to be there. But it's just never worked out for him (yet). He says he's retired for good.
But can you imagine what that would've been like if he would've played there from the beginning instead of in New England? Would the Bills still have gone through "The Drought?"
Now, let's think about it differently. What if one of the greatest players ever came to Buffalo? Only, instead of football, let's explore hockey. What if Wayne Gretzky was a Buffalo Sabre? There's a day that he would've wanted that to happen.
Who is Wayne Gretzky?
For those who never followed hockey, you've probably still heard the name, Wayne Gretzky. They call him "the Great One" and he is still considered one of the best to have ever played the game.
He led the Oilers to four Stanley Cup victories (in the 1983–84, 1984–85, 1986–87, and 1987–88 seasons) before being traded to the LA Kings. Then he played for the St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers before calling it quits in 1999.
Who would Gretzky have played for if he had the choice?
Gretzky played for the Edmonton Oilers when his contract was sold to them from the World Hockey Association. From there, he was traded to the Kings, but who would he have chosen? In an article in The Athletic, Gretzky admits that he once wished to play for The Buffalo Sabres.
He watched them all the time when he was a kid, and even listened to them on the radio when the games continued on past his bedtime.
Why was Gretzky a Sabres fan?
Gretzky says it was his dad's love of the Sabres that spurred him into becoming a fan himself. They lived in Brantford, Ontario, which is only about 2 hours from Buffalo. Not only did his dad love the team, but because they lived so close, it was the team that was the easiest to watch.
"He remembers watching Ted Darling call games on Channel 7. When his dad made him go to bed early, he allowed Wayne to continue listening to the game on the radio. He loved it when the Sabres were playing late on the West Coast because he could listen to Rick Jeanneret call the game when he couldn’t fall asleep." - Matthew Fairburn, The Athletic
How would that have changed Buffalo Sabres History?
Would it have made a difference if the Sabres had Gretzky? Would we have a cup (or two) to show off to the world right now?
No one knows. He never got the chance to play for the team he dreamed of playing on when he was a kid.