Feb. 13, 1977 -- It might have been the oddest game in the history of the Buffalo Sabres.
With regular goalie Gerry Desjardins injured, Sabres general manager Punch Imlach ordered coach Floyd Smith to start rookie netminder Don Edwards that night against Minnesota. The team's other goalie, Al Smith, didn't like that idea.
In the pregame warm-up, Smith waved to team owner Seymour Knox, said "See ya, Seymour," and left the Aud ice ... never to return.
"Pride and dignity cost a lot these days. I know I'm a raving fool for what I did, but when the game doesn't make sense to you, get out," Smith said later.
The Sabres tried to sign public relations director and occasional beer league goalie Paul Wieland to an amateur tryout contract to be the backup, but his name was submitted to the lineup too late to be included.
So, Edwards had to go it alone. He beat the North Stars, 6-2. It was also center Derek Smith's first NHL game. Both Edwards and Derek Smith had other chances to play in the NHL; Wieland never did. Al Smith didn't play in the NHL again until after the WHA merger in 1979, as Bob Sauve was recalled from the minors to take his roster spot.
--- Budd Bailey