The Buffalo Sabres ice hockey team appeared in 1970 when the NHL decided to expand the League’s top 14 franchises. The Buffalo Sabres was founded by the Knox brothers, Seymour and Northup, in 1970. The team is based in Buffalo, New York, USA.
The Knox brothers announced the name-the-team contest to acquire a more original and unique name for the franchise. Many ideas were submitted with names like “Mugwumps,” “Buzzing Bees,” “Buffalo Bisons,” “Flying Zeppelins,” “Buffalo Bulls,” etc. being suggested. However, the brothers thought that for Buffalo-based teams, such names were too plain and unsophisticated. Moreover, buffalo, bison, and bull refer to large, even-ungulate animals in the genus Bison. Finally, Sabres won out. The owners claimed they liked Sabres as it is an effective weapon in both offense and defense, so they hoped their team would be. Anyway, “Bulls,” “Bisons,” and “Buffaloes” are team monikers, as the Buffalo Sabres logo features a buffalo above two crossed sabers.
In the spring of 1996, died the Buffalo Sabres’ principal owner Seymour Knox III. In the 1996-97 season, the team changed its basic colors from blue and gold to black and red. The same year the Buffalo Sabres moved from Memorial Auditorium to the new HSBC Arena.
Sabretooth, an anthropomorphic saber-toothed tiger, is the mascot of the Buffalo Sabres.
Meaning and History
The Buffalo Sabres are an ice hockey team whose logo features a mighty and aggressive bison, reflecting its spirit. Indeed, “Katanas,” “Sabes,” “Sabs,” “Swords” as fans call them (after all, in addition to the wild animal, the Buffalo Sabres emblem used to have two sabers), always attempt to demonstrate the fighting spirit and ready-to-win mood.
Although there is no text on the Buffalo Sabers logo, it still reflects the team’s exact name and the city in which the club is located. The logo consists of two parts as if it were two words. The first denotes the collective image of “buffalo, bull, bison” – a representative of a large artiodactyl. The second conveys the skates’ sharpness on which the hockey players go out on the ice, so sabers are purposeful, striking moment, maneuverability. Although all the emblems show only two objects, they still differ from each other. In total, the franchise has changed five options.
1970 – 1996
Since it is supposed that the city was named after the American buffalo that once roamed the state of New York in vast herds, exactly this beast was chosen to be drawn in the first Buffalo Sabres logo. The original logo was a blue circle with a yellow outline. It contained two crossed sabers with yellow handles and a running white buffalo between them.
1996 – 1999
In the late 1990s, the team introduced a new logo and color scheme. The Buffalo Sabres moved away from a blue and yellow look in favor of black, red, and silver. The sabers in the logo were removed and replaced with the head of a buffalo with red eyes. This silver-and-black buffalo with a red outline was Sabers logo until 2006.
1999 – 2006
The Sabres logo again went through a slight redesign. The fourth logo had a better color quality and improved graphics.
2006 – 2010
The 2007 return to the original blue and yellow color scheme was a good call, but the design was recognized as one of the worst logos in sports history. The Buffaslug logo featured yellow buffalo with white horns and bright red eyes. The animal was depicted in profile, which helped to create the effect of a lifelike running buffalo.
2010 – present
The current Sabres logo throws back to the 1970 original look, though it comes with a few adjustments, like improved graphics and some contemporary details. The current personal identification mark is an improved version of the debut logo. After a series of transformations undertaken, the team’s leadership concluded that the most successful symbolism is the first. Therefore, the team returned it in 2010 and has never changed it since. All elements are now enhanced with thin contour lines that make the drawing accurate and focused.
The bull looks incredibly formidable, although the designers have removed the bright red eye color, replacing it with a dark shade. The animal is still depicted attacking from the left. Two surrounding strokes evidence that the cloven-hoofed animal is rapidly flying forward: the stripes are at the top and bottom of the body. Thanks to the edging, the sabers have also become much more expressive.
Font and color of the Emblem
The greatest experiments were in the image of the buffalo. In the debut and current version, he is depicted in full; from 1996 to 2006, only his head was present on the emblem until 2010 – part of the withers. But the menacing expression remained unchanged. The head was always tilted forward, as if for a powerful attack by the enemy. The animal pointedly exposed its sharp horns, showing its readiness to pounce.
Different details complemented the central image depending on the period. It was often a blue circle with a yellow border, and two sabers crossed at the bottom. In other cases, the focus is directed to the withers or mane of the artiodactyl, emphasizing the powerful horns.
Although there is no text in the emblem, sometimes it is accompanied by a separate inscription. The team name is made in an individual typeface and is placed in two lines.
The logo has gone through some small experiments with color. For some time, it contained red, gray, white, and black tones, and now the white-blue-yellow palette prevails.