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Mike Boland, 62, former Buffalo Sabres defenseman

Oct. 29, 1954 – Oct. 8, 2017

Michael John “BoBo” Boland, of Grand Island, a former defenseman for the Buffalo Sabres, died Sunday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst after a period of declining health. He was 62.

Born in London, Ont., he played three years of junior hockey before he was picked in the seventh round of the 1974 NHL amateur draft by an expansion team, the Kansas City Scouts. He played one game for the Scouts, then spent three seasons with the Port Huron Flags in the International Hockey League.

Signed as a free agent by the Sabres in 1978, he was sent to the Hershey Bears, the Sabres’ primary farm team at the time, then was called up to replace the injured Jocelyn Guevremont.

Mr. Boland appeared in 22 regular season games and three games in the playoffs.

“He was a consummate team player,” said former Sabres teammate Don Luce, who is married to Mr. Boland’s sister, Dianne. “And he was very, very good with assists."

"He was a fighter,” Luce said of Boland.

Returned to the minors next season by new coach Scotty Bowman, he played through 1984 with the Rochester Americans, Hershey Bears, Salt Lake Golden Eagles and Fort Wayne Komets.

He went on to coach in Denmark, then coached junior B and C league teams in London, Ont.

Mr. Boland was active with the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association, raising money for charities by playing in exhibition games and assisting at special events.

Off the ice, he had a career in sales and distribution, first with Kraft Foods in Canada, then in Buffalo with Acosta Sales and Marketing and Parkview Health Services.

Survivors include two daughters, Heather and Lindsay Brown; four sisters, Dianne Luce, Karen Campbell, Colleen Harris and Lorraine; and a brother, Wayne.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, 2100 Baseline Road, Grand Island.

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