Buffalo Bisons (AHL)

The Buffalo Bisons were an American Hockey League ice hockey franchise that played from 1940 to 1970 in Buffalo, New York. They replaced the original Buffalo Bisons hockey team, which left the area in 1936 after its arena collapsed. They were the second professional hockey team to play their games in the Buffalo city proper, after the short-lived Buffalo Majors of the early 1930s; the previous Bisons team had played across the border at an arena in Fort Erie, Ontario.

Buffalo Bisons
CityBuffalo, NY
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
Home arenaMemorial Auditorium
ColorsRed, white, blue
AffiliatesMontreal Canadiens
Chicago Black Hawks
New York Rangers
Franchise history
1926–1930Hamilton Tigers (CPHL)
1930–1940Syracuse Stars
1940–1970Buffalo Bisons
Regular season titles5 (1945–46, 1953–54,
1958–59, 1962–63, 1968–69)
Division Championships8 (1942–43, 1944–45, 1945–46, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1962–63, 1968–69, 1969–70)
Calder Cups5 (1942–43, 1943–44,
1945–46, 1962–63, 1969–70)


The Bisons played at the newly constructed Memorial Auditorium, and at various times had affiliations with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Black Hawks and New York Rangers. The team was brought to Buffalo from Syracuse by Louis M. Jacobs, then owner of the buffalo based Jacob's Concessions and the father of Jeremy Jacobs the current owner of the Boston Bruins.

The team's unusual logo stems from the Bisons being purchased in 1956 by the owner of the local franchise of Pepsi-Cola Ruby Pastor, who changed the team's colors and logo to reflect the soft drink company; the Bisons retained the logo for the rest of their existence.[1]

They were Calder Cup champions in 1943, 1944, 1946, 1963 and 1970, and runners-up in 1948, 1951, 1955, 1959 and 1962.

The team ceased operations after the 1969–70 season due to the awarding of a National Hockey League expansion team, the Buffalo Sabres, to begin play in 1970–71. Like the Pittsburgh Hornets three years earlier (also shut down because of NHL expansion), the Bisons closed out their existence with one final championship.

Broadcaster Rick Jeanneret called several games during the Bisons' final season and moved into a similar role with the Sabres in 1971.

After the Bisons folded, the Sabres were granted an AHL franchise, which was used to establish the Cincinnati Swords in 1971. The Sabres used old Bisons jerseys in the team's first training camp in 1970.[2]

After the Bisons

On September 18, 2010, the Sabres announced that they would be adopting a third jersey that pays homage to the Bisons during their 2010–11 season. The Bisons-inspired third jersey was used for that and the following season before being discontinued. Elements from the Bisons-inspired throwbacks were incorporated into the Sabres' 2018 NHL Winter Classic jerseys.[3]

Season-by-season results

Regular season

1940–4156192710481481764th, West
1941–425625256561821574th, West
1942–435628217631891431st, West
1943–4454251613632011682nd, East
1944–456031821702001821st, East
1945–466238168842701961st, East
1946–4764361711832571732nd, West
1947–486841234862772383rd, West
1948–496833278742462135th, West
1949–507032299732262081st, East
1950–517040264843092841st, East
1951–526828364602302983rd, East
1952–536422393471602367th, AHL
1953–547039247852832171st, AHL
1954–556431285672482284th, AHL
1955–566429305632392503rd, AHL
1956–576425372522092705th, AHL
1957–587025423532243016th, AHL
1958–597038284802332011st, AHL
1959–607233354702512715th, AHL
1960–617235343732592614th, AHL
1961–627036313752472192nd, West
1962–637241247892371991st, West
1963–647225407571942604th, West
1964–657240266862612182nd, West
1965–667229403612152434th, West
1966–677214517352073864th, West
1967–6872322812762392243rd, West
1968–6974411815972821921st, West
1969–7072401715952801931st, West


Season1st round2nd roundFinals
1940–41Out of playoffs
1941–42Out of playoffs
1942–43W, 4-2, HersheybyeW, 3-0, Indianapolis
1943–44W, 4-1, IndianapolisW, 4-0, Cleveland
1944–45L, 2-4 Cleveland
1945–46W, 4-1, IndianapolisbyeW, 4-3, Cleveland
1946–47W, 2-0, SpringfieldL, 0-2, Pittsburgh
1947–48W, 2-1, HersheyW, 2-0, New HavenL, 0-4, Cleveland
1948–49Out of playoffs
1949–50L, 1-4, Cleveland
1950–51L, 0-4, Cleveland
1951–52L, 0-3, Cincinnati
1952–53Out of playoffs
1953–54L, 0-3, Cleveland
1954–55W, 3-1, ClevelandL, 2-4, Pittsburgh
1955–56L, 2-3, Providence
1956–57Out of playoffs
1957–58Out of playoffs
1958–59W, 4-1, RochesterL, 2-4, Hershey
1959–60Out of playoffs
1960–61L, 1-3, Hershey
1961–62W, 2-0, RochesterW, 3-1, HersheyL, 1-4, Springfield
1962–63W, 4-2, ProvidencebyeW, 4-3, Hershey
1963–64Out of playoffs
1964–65W, 3-1, PittsburghL, 2-3, Hershey
1965–66Out of playoffs
1966–67Out of playoffs
1967–68L, 2-3, Quebec
1968–69L, 2-4, Hershey
1969–70W, 4-2, Quebec1st in round-robin vs.
Springfield & Montreal
W, 4-0, Springfield


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