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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: James Patrick

   (Born June 14, 1963) -- The hockey life of James Patrick took an unexpected turn a few years ago. Who would have guessed that he would find a home in Buffalo?

   Athletics obviously run in his family. Patrick's father played football for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian league. James preferred hockey, and landed a spot on the University of North Dakota's roster.

   He played for Canada in the Olympics in 1984, and then signed with the Rangers. He stayed there until the fall of 1993. Patrick was a solid offensive defenseman, scoring 10 or more goals seven times.

   Patrick moved on to Hartford and Calgary from there, and when he came to Buffalo in 1998 it looked like he's just be a spare defenseman here to play a year or two. The classy veteran spent six seasons as a Sabre, even playing regularly for Buffalo in the 1999 NHL finals.

   What's more, he still isn't done contributing. Patrick has been an assistant coach here since 2006.

--- Budd Bailey

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