(Born June 23, 1958) -- The Sabres traditionally haven't been known for their big, tough players. Larry Playfair was a noteworthy exception.
Buffalo was looking to add a little beef with its first round draft choice in 1978. The big defenseman out of Portland of the Western Hockey League, fit that description. He was 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds of muscle in his prime.
Playfair arrived in Buffalo during the 1978-79 season. He stayed through the 1985-86 season, before he was traded to Los Angeles in a deal involving Doug Smith and Brian Engblom.
But Playfair wasn't done yet. He came back here in 1988 in a deal for Bob Logan. He played through the 1989-90 season when back problems forced him to retire.
Playfair opted to stay right here in Western New York. He always was generous with his time for community groups, and that's still the case today. It's partly why he's still one of the most popular Sabres ever.
--- Budd Bailey