Bob Sauve

Goalie Bob Sauve was part of two dynamic goaltending duos in Buffalo.

The Buffalo Sabres drafted both Don Edwards and Bob Sauve in the 1975 NHL entry draft. Both would battle for the starters job for several seasons to come.

While Edwards quickly caught on in Buffalo, Sauve needed to wait for his chance to stay in the NHL. It wasn't until 1978-79 that Sauve finally was able to stick with the Sabres for good. He served as a back up that season, but by 1979-80 he was pushing Edwards for the starters job. He posted a 20-8-4 record with 4 shutouts while sharing the Vezina trophy with Edwards. Back in those days the Vezina was awarded to the goalie or goalies of the team who had the fewest goals against.

By 1981-82 the Sabres had decided to go another direction with their goaltending. Sauve was traded during the season to Detroit where he struggled with the lowly Red Wings. The Sabres then traded Edwards in the off season, but could not find an immediate replacement. Fortunately for the Sabres, the Wings and Sauve couldn't reach a deal, and Sauve became a free agent. He resigned with the Sabres.

1982-83 was the only season Sauve could really claim to be the undisputed #1 goalie in Buffalo. He played in 54 games with a 25-20-7 record which was quite impressive on a poor Sabres team. The Sabres unexpectedly made it to the second round of the playoffs that year, thanks largely to the play of Sauve. He posted back to back shutouts of the Montreal Canadiens in the Montreal Forum. As a Francophone who grew up idolizing the Habs and Jacques Plante, Sauve would always cherish that moment.

Sauve was relegated to back up and mentor status starting in 1983-84. A young phenom just out of high school named Tom Barrasso joined the Sabres, and took the league by storm. He would capture much of the NHL hardware that rookie season and followed it up with a strong sophomore campaign. He was always quick to credit Sauve for not only helping him but for challenging him with his own strong play.

Sauve was dealt to the Blackhawks for the 1985-86 season and stayed for two seasons before signing with the Devils in 1987. After two season in New Jersey, Sauve retired from the NHL because of chronic back problems. He remained active in hockey, first as the president of the Devil's alumni association, then as a goalie coach and later as a player agent. His list of clientele include many of Quebec's biggest names including Patrick Roy, Vincent Lecavalier, Jocelyn Thibault, Pierre Turgeon, Vincent Damphousse and Simon Gagne.

Hockey is a family affair in the Sauve family. Bob's brother Jean Francois played with the Buffalo Sabres, while Bob's American born son Phillippe, also a goalie, is now in the NHL.


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