Sabres Founder Seymour Knox Dead at 70
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Seymour H. Knox III, who along with his brother founded the Buffalo Sabres, died at his home Wednesday after a lengthy bout with cancer. He was 70.
Knox, who had been suffering from the disease for the last several years, died in the morning at his home in East Aurora, a Buffalo suburb, according to team spokesman Gil Chorbajian.
It was Knox and his brother, Northrup, who were responsible for bringing the Sabres to Buffalo when the NHL expanded in 1969. Seymour Knox had been more active with the team than his brother in recent years.
Knox was given most of the credit for putting together the financing for Marine Midland Arena, a $127 million building that will replace Memorial Auditorium as home to the Sabres in the fall.
More than half of the money needed came from private investors with influence from Knox. The arrangement guaranteed the Sabres would remain in Buffalo for at least 30 years.
In March, Knox and his brother were inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame in a moving tribute, during which Sabres and National Hockey League greats took center ice to salute them.
By April, Knox appeared weak during closing ceremonies for the Aud and he needed to be transported by wheelchair during a tour of the new arena in early May. He etched ``SHK III″ into concrete underneath the new ice surface before leaving.
``He cared deeply for the people of Buffalo and the Niagara Frontier, and held a special place in his heart for the players, employees and everyone involved with the Buffalo Sabres,″ said Sabres president Douglas Moss. ``His leadership and kindness will be deeply missed.″
Knox was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993 and stepped down as team president a year later.
The Knox brothers originally signed a contract to buy the Oakland Seals with the intention of moving the franchise to Buffalo. NHL officials wanted the team kept in Oakland, but granted the Knoxes a franchise in 1969. The Sabres began play in 1970.
Knox’s most memorable moment with the Sabres came in 1975, when the team reached the Stanley Cup finals before losing to the Philadelphia Flyers. He also owned part of the Buffalo Blizzard, a professional indoor soccer team.
Knox attended Yale, where he played squash in the 1940s, and later became a successful investment broker, retiring in 1991 as a vice president of Kidder Peabody & Co.
In addition to his brother, Knox is survived by his wife Jean, four children, and five grandchildren.