Niagara Gazette

Sports

October 25, 2006

SABRES: Andreychuk wore different uniforms, but had one home team

The uniform changed. Constantly.

But Dave Andreychuk, one of 10 inductees into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame during tonight’s ceremony at HSBC Arena, said his heart never really wavered when it came to his home team.

“I only played about half my career here,” said Andreychuk, the second-leading scorer in Sabres history with 804 points in 837 games. “But in the same sense, I never left. I do call this home and all my friends and family are here. I’ve always got one eye on what the Sabres are doing.”

Others entering the hall at tonight’s reception include Bruce Smith, Boston Bruins’ owner Jeremy Jacobs and former Buffalo Blizzard great Rudy Pikuzinski.

Andreychuk grew up just up the QEW in Hamilton, Ontario, and was the last of three first-round choices the Sabres had in 1982 — PhilHousley (6th) and Paul Cyr (9th) being the others.

The following season, he played 43 games with the Sabres, becoming a fixture in the team’s lineup for the next 11 seasons.

With mentors like Gil Perreault and Craig Ramsay, Andreychuk learned plenty about NHL life before he hit the age of 21.

“It’s all about learning from good players,” he said. “To play with Gilbert and learn from guys like Jim Schoenfeld and (Jerry) Korab, that was something that stuck with me.”

The fun didn’t end there.

Andreychuk, Mike Foligno, John Tucker and Pierre Turgeon later became the veteran staples as the Sabres consistently challenged for the Adams Division title. Andreychuk scored 30 or more goals seven times during the run and maxed out at 41 in 1991-92.

“We had some awesome teams,” he said. “We didn’t have the playoff success that we wanted, but I have some really fond memories of my time in Buffalo.”

John Murphy, the sports director at WKBW-TV and tonight’s emcee, remembers Andreychuk as the ultimate finisher.

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