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This Day in Buffalo Sports History
Jan. 14, 1972 -- Calling in sick

It seemed like a minor trade at the time, but it worked out well for the Buffalo Sabres. In addition, it's one of the best anecdotes from the early history of the team.

Punch Imlach was in his second season of running the Sabres in 1971-72, but his heart problems acted up, forcing him to go to a hospital to get treatment and rest.

However, the phone in the hospital still worked. So Imlach sent a second-round draft choice in the 1972 draft to the New York Rangers for Jim Lorentz. This was a deal that paid off for years to come.

Lorentz had won a Stanley Cup in Boston in 1970 as a fourth-line forward, but he never got to be a regular until arriving in Buffalo. He scored more than 20 goals four times as a Sabre.

Lorentz was finished as a player in 1978, but he wasn't done contributing. He worked on the Sabres' broadcasts for many of the next 30 years. Jim even wrote articles for the team's program.

-- Budd Bailey

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