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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History; Rob Ray -- June 8, 1968

Television star, author, commercial spokesman. Could that really describe the life of Rob Ray?

Indeed. Rob has parlayed a long playing career with the Buffalo Sabres into something much more than that.

Ray grew up in Stirling, Ont., and played junior hockey in Cornwall of the Ontario League. He was drafted in the fifth round by the Sabres in 1985. Ray, who evolved into Buffalo's enforcer, ended up playing 900 games in the National Hockey League. He was part of the 1999 team that reached the Stanley Cup finals.

Ray became part of the Western New York community along the way. He was recognized for his charity work with the King Clancy Award from the NHL in 1999.

After retirement, Ray went into private business but also started working on the Sabres' television broadcasts. It looks like he's found a home for good here.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at