Sunday it will be 50 years since Buffalo Sabres General Manager Punch Imlach plucked Tim Horton from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the intraleague draft.

“Good move,” says Mike Robitaille, who adds a snicker to underscore the depth of his understatement.

Today Horton’s name means coffee and doughnuts – across Canada and here in Western New York. But if you are of a certain age, and got to see Horton play, his name means so much more.

And if you got to play with him, as Robitaille did, well, then the name means more than we can imagine.

The Sabres, in their third season, would go on to make their first playoffs – and Robitaille believes Horton’s strong-willed presence on the ice and off was a big reason why.

Horton was 42 when he got to Buffalo. The rest of the hockey world thought he was done. He scored just one goal in 124 games for the Sabres, but there is no counting how many he prevented.



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