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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History; Billy Inglis -- May 11, 1943

When the history of the Buffalo Sabres is written, Billy Inglis pops up twice. One of his contributions was trivial, one was significant.

Inglis played junior hockey with the Montreal Jr. Canadiens, and worked his way through minor league hockey for a few years. Then in 1967, the National Hockey League doubled in size, and Inglis found himself in the big leagues. He played 22 games with the Los Angeles Kings.

Inglis became a Sabre in 1970, the team's first season, and turned up in training camp. The center scored in Buffalo's very first preseason game, and took the ice at the start of the Sabres' first game.

Inglis had one assist in 14 games as a Sabre, and then returned to the minor leagues for several years. Then he became a coach there in 1978, and in a bizarre series of events he became Buffalo's head coach when Marcel Pronovost was fired. He led the Sabres to a 28-18-10 record the rest of the way, as the team relaxed after a nervous start.

But Buffalo lost in a best-of-three series to Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs, and the popular Inglis lost his head coaching job. Scott Bowman was hired for the positions of general manager and coach; Inglis later coached in the International Hockey League for several years.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at buffalonews.com/blogs