When the Buffalo Sabres signed Ron Fischer as a free agent in 1981, they knew the kid from Merritt, British Columbia had good wheels and a strong passing game. Since he went undrafted by the rest of the National Hockey League, he was never expected to be a star, and by North American standards never was. However don't tell the hockey fans of Rosenheim, Germany that.
Despite his skill level and decent size Ron was never drafted by an NHL team largely because of the route his hockey career followed. He attended the University of Calgary rather than playing major junior or going to US college. It remains very rare to see Canadian university students make it to the NHL.
But Ron is one of the few who did. By 1981-82 he turned professional and spent most of the season learning the professional game as a member of the Sabres AHL farm team in Rochester. However he was called up for a 15 game appearance that season, and impressed with 7 assists.
An injury plagued 1982-83 season interfered with Ron's development as a defenseman. He got into only half a season of action that year, including 3 NHL games. He would end up spending his third pro year (1983-84) exclusively in the minors to make up for it.
Unhappy with his career development at that point, Ron made what ultimately turned out to be the greatest decision of his life. He jumped at an opportunity to play hockey overseas, as he would spend the next 12 years in Germany, mostly in the city of Rosenheim. Ron, who would also represent Germany in two Olympics and two world championships, quickly established himself as one of the most popular athletes in the city of Rosenheim. He would enjoy one of the longest careers any Canadian has ever had on European ice.