Buffalo Bisons (American Hockey League) History

Home of AHL Buffalo Bisons Hockey history "before the NHL Buffalo Sabres"

For residents of Buffalo and the Niagara Frontier, hockey has become one and the same with winter, ice, skates, sticks, pucks, body checks, fights, and awesome goalie saves. Most of them have grown up cheering for modern greats like Gilbert Perreault, Pat Lafontaine and Dominik Hasek of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres. However, hockey has been around in Buffalo since the turn of the century. This website honors the men who played for those early teams: the Buffalo Bisons and Buffalo Majors hockey clubs.

The first public demonstration of an ice hockey game was on March 3, 1875 in Montreal. The game soon found its way west throughout Canada and before the end of the nineteenth century the concept had founds its way to the United States of America and across the Atlantic to Europe. As Hockey spread across the continent, there was a noticeable increase in the number of organized hockey leagues. By 1917, the National Hockey Association (NHA) was re-organized and eventually led the birth of the National Hockey League. Hockey prospered in the 1920s as the post World War I boom engulfed North America. In 1924 the NHL expanded and firmly established itself as the premier professional hockey league. A proliferation of minor leagues also sprang up. These leagues showcased young men with dreams of breaking into the big league, and tired veterans, yearning for one more chance at glory.

1969-70 buffalo bison program coverAfter many changes during its first twenty-five years of existence, the NHL started its golden age in the early 1940s. Six teams had an iron grip on the hockey talent that battled it out in the minor leagues for decades. Expansion changed hockey history forever. It brought a new era to the NHL as the number of teams doubled in the 1967-68 season to twelve. This led to a surge in minor league players finally getting a shot to play in the NHL. Many minor league leagues and teams were forced to fold, or merge into other leagues. This website is about one of those teams, the Buffalo Bisons Hockey Club.

Buffalo Bisons "Before the Blade" bookHere is your chance to buy the extremely hard-to find and popular book: "Before the Blade; the history of Buffalo Bisons hockey." A true labor of love for the author; noted hockey historian and creator of BisonsHistory.com, Tim Warchocki spent the better part of three years researching and writing it. The book features tons of stories and biographies (some of which are featured right here on this website), hundreds of rare photos, Fort Erie and Peace Bridge history, an introduction by Mike Robitaille, player statistics from 1928-1970, 188 pages, and a high-gloss cover. Printed by RAMA Publishing in 1999. Don't wait, limited quantities remain!