The Buffalo Bandits begin their 25th anniversary season on Saturday with a game against the Calgary Roughnecks (7:30 p.m., Radio 1520 AM).
They warmed up for the silver anniversary by selecting the 25 best players in franchise history on Friday. What’s more, fans will have the chance to select the team’s All-Time Starting Lineup.
A group of Bandits’ alumni, coaches, media and staff picked the top 25. The list includes:
Forwards: Mike Accursi, Kevin Alexander, Cory Bomberry, Troy Cordingley, Derek Keenan, Darris Kilgour, Dhane Smith, Mark Steenhuis, John Tavares, Dan Teat, Roger Vyse and Shawn Williams.
Defensemen: Kyle Couling, Rich Kilgour, Kyle Laverty, Pat McCready, Andy Oglivie, Steve Priolo, Billy Dee Smith, Jim Veltman, Chris White.
Goaltenders: Ross Cowie, Steve Dietrich, Ken Montour and Mike Thompson.
Fans can start selecting their six favorites by visiting bandits.com/alltime. One member of the starting lineup will be revealed at each home game, starting on Feb. 6 before the game with the New England Black Wolves. The full lineup will be in place for the April 16 game with Toronto.
It’s a big year for anniversaries for the Bandits. It was 20 years ago that Buffalo won a championship with a victory over the Philadelphia Wings in their last game in Memorial Auditorium. Ten years ago, the Bandits fell short in the championship game against Colorado.
The Bandits played their first-ever game on Jan. 4, 1992, losing to the New York Saints by a score of 21-17. Darris Kilgour had the first goal in team history.
Calgary already has played one game this season. The Roughnecks dropped a 10-8 decision to visiting Saskatchewan last week. Dane Dobbie led Calgary with three goals and an assist.
The Roughnecks are coming off a disappointing regular season, going 7-11. A member of that team, Daryl Veltman, switched sides during the offseason and signed with the Bandits as a free agent.