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Hard Knox, Mugwumps and Jesters: Buffalo's hockey team by any other name

What do the Buzzing Bees, the Jesters and the Trumpeters have in common?

They were all contenders for the name of Buffalo's new National Hockey League franchise.

Forty-nine years ago this week, on Feb. 17, 1970, club President Seymour H. Knox III unveiled the name at a press luncheon, according to a Courier-Express article posted on Twitter by This Date in Buffalo Sports History.

Team Brass picked Sabres following a two-week contest that drew 13,000 entries from Western New York, Ontario and as far as Munich, Germany.

"Our name denotes an aggressive, sharp and penetrating weapon on offense and a parrying weapon on defense," Knox said after coming out to the strains of "Sabre Dance."

An executive committee settled on the old English spelling of "Sabre" to better connect with Canadian fans.

Twelve people suggested Sabre/Saber and Mayor Frank A. Sedita randomly selected Robert Sonnelitter Jr. of Williamsville as the winner of two season tickets.

Other rejected entries? Flashes, Squires, Streaks, Bandits, Mugwumps, Hard Knox, Queens and Veni Vidi Vici.

Oh the fun headline writers could have had:

"Flashes no flash in the pan"

"Streaks' streak comes to an end"

"Opportunity knocks for Hard Knox"

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