Ric Seiling

Ric Seiling was a very solid player, patrolling his wing with routine effectiveness for 10 seasons in the National Hockey League, 9 of which were with the Buffalo Sabres.

Ric, the younger brother of long time NHL standout Rod Seiling, was one of those players who never seemed to get the accolades they deserve. He was really solid at so many different aspects of the game - particularly the little intangibles that fans and media don't always appreciate but teammates and coaches certainly do. He was a good skater but lacked speed. He was a good puck handler, and was always more of a passer than a scorer. His single most important attribute was his above average hockey sense. He understood the game and could read plays develop expertly. He used that to become a very solid defensive player. He was an excellent checker and penalty killer. On the penalty kill he was known for "ragging the puck."

Ric, who was not overly big but never intimidated, played his junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey Association. After two years in Hamilton Ric moved just a few miles away from Buffalo in his NHL draft year. He played for the St. Catharines Fincups in 1976-77, and had a great year. He scored 49 goals and 110 points, and also represented Canada at the World Junior Hockey championships where he made a big impression with his 3 goals in 7 games.

Ric's breakout season was enough to earn him a first round draft selection in the 1977 draft. The Sabres picked Ric 14th overall. Some Sabres fans have never forgotten who the arch rival New York Islanders selected with the 15th pick - Hall of FamerMike Bossy.

While Ric was never as flashy as Bossy, he was a valuable member of the Sabres over the years. During his prime he was a 20 goal threat, topping out at 30 in 1980-81. As fancy and illustrious as players like Bossy and Gilbert Perreault were, Ric was as steady and quiet. He did his job with no fanfare. Over time he earned the respect of the entire NHL. The slender right winger was quickly becoming known as a top penalty killer in the league. His offensive game was improving although a serious eye injury in 1982 coincided with his reduction in offense, but his defensive game remained strong.

In 1986-87, due to complications with an overcrowded roster at pre-season waiver draft time, the Sabres moved Ric on to Detroit where he played one final NHL season with the Red Wings. He would play one season with the American Hockey League's Adirondack Red Wings in 1987-88 before hanging up the blades for good.

Ric, whose love for horses matches if not exceeds his love for hockey, retired with 738 National Hockey League games to his credit. He scored 179 times and assisted on 208 others for a total of 387 points. His status as a top defensive player is cemented by his career plus/minus rating of +118. He was also a solid contributor in the post season - scoring 14 goals and 28 points in 62 contests.


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