Ken Breitenbach

Ken Breitenbach was a 6'1" 190 pound defenseman from Welland, Ontario, which is just northwest of Buffalo. He played junior-B hockey with the Welland Sabres before joining the junior-A St. Catharines Black Hawks for three years from 1972 through 1975 where he was an all star by his final season.

The Sabres drafted the aggressive blueliner 35th overall in the 1975 amateur draft. It was hoped that Ken could become a regular on the Sabres defense for years to come.

Ken was sent down to the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears where he apprenticed in his first season of pro hockey. In year two he split the year between the NHL and AHL, scoring 5 assists in 31 games with the Sabres.

Ken seemed to have a earned a roster spot with the Sabres for the 1977-78 season, but then disaster struck. He suffered a badly broken leg in a pre-season game in Philadelphia. The injury knocked Ken out for the entire year.

Ken returned in 1978-79 and was demoted to the minors as the year off dulled the progress he had made in his first two years as a professional. However Ken was discouraged by the progress and soon quit and went home to his pregnant wife. Ken would return later that season as injuries depleted the Sabres defense. He played well in 30 games to end the season, including his first and only NHL goal. He also added 8 assists.

That proved to be Ken's last season in hockey. He never quite recovered from the horrific injury, and couldn't be guaranteed a spot on the Sabres roster the following season. Ken made the noble decision to quit hockey and take care of his young family.


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