Sabres Founder Seymour Knox Dead at 70
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Seymour Knox III, who along with his brother founded the Buffalo Sabres, died at his home Wednesday of cancer. He was 70 years old.
Knox, who had cancer the last several years, died in the morning in suburban East Aurora, Sabres spokesman Gil Chorbajian said.
Knox and his brother Northrup 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 in the fall will replace Memorial Auditorium as the Sabres’ home.
More than half the money needed came from private investors. 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. During the tribute, Sabres and NHL stars took center ice to honor the pair.
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,″ Sabres president Douglas Moss said. ``His leadership and kindness will be deeply missed.″
Knox was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993 and resigned 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. The NHL wanted the team 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.