Lee “Fogey” Fogolin Jr.

I cannot write about one of my favorite Sabres defenseman from the mid to late seventies without mentioning his father and the other noteworthy father and son NHLers involving the Sabres.

Lee Fogolin Sr. and Lee Fogolin Jr. (Sabres) both Stanley Cup Champions

Mike Foligno (Sabres) and sons Nick, Marcus Foligno (Sabres)

Michael Nylander and sons William, Alexander Nylander (Sabres)

Interestingly two of the Sabres father and son examples have last names that are anagrams of each other Fogolin / Foligno and it is the only time that has happened in the NHL.

Lee Fogolin Jr. the son of Stanley Cup Champion Red Wing Lee Fogolin Sr. was eligible to be drafted in 1974 as an underage player because the NHL decided it was fine to draft one underage player in round 1 or 2 that season.

When Buffalo selected Lee Fogolin Jr. in the first round 11th pick, that selection became the first American born player to be drafted in the first round.

Defenseman Lee Fogolin Jr., although the “Jr.” was not used when the games were being broadcasted on radio or television because his father was no longer playing in the NHL and was coaching in the USHL.

To this day Hockey websites like, “Hockey Data Base and Hockey Reference” do not use the JR or SR designations they just list the years both have played but do mention the family relationship.

Buffalo’s regular season in 1974-75 was injury filled for Mr. Fogolin Jr. who had an injured left eye and bone chips in his wrist but played 50 games and earned 2 goals with 2 assists with a plus 1 rating.

During Buffalo’s amazing Stanley Cup run in 1975, the Sabres utilized Mr. Fogolin Jr. as a forward during the penalty kill.

In the next season, Mr. Fogolin Jr. had split time between the AHL and NHL and still was able to contribute in the playoffs for Buffalo.

The next four seasons Mr. Fogolin Jr. was a rock-solid defenseman that earned around 20 points a season on average, he was indeed the prototypical NHL defenseman at six feet and 200 pounds.

When the NHL held its expansion draft there were three Sabres players who were unprotected and selected by three of the four WHA teams entering the 1979-80 NHL season.

Two Buffalo players selected, Terry Martin by Quebec and Dave Given by Hartford were of no consequence to me or my beloved Sabres.

The one expansion draft selection that hurt my heart was when Buffalo’s worst GM in its history left Mr. Fogolin Jr. unprotected affording the WHA Oilers an opportunity to select him.

Mr. Lee Fogolin Jr. was so respected he was the Oilers Captain for approximately three seasons before “giving it up” to wayne because Mr. Fogolin Jr. thought that would help Edmonton win the Cup, and it did.  

In an effort to repair some of the damage the next GM after the worst GM in Buffalo’s history departed, Mr. Meehan brought back Mr. Fogolin Jr. to play for the Sabres, but nine games and eight years too late for Buffalo.

When he retired Mr. Fogolin Jr. moved back to Edmonton where he is best remembered and had the most NHL success, but for this teenager from the 1970s, “Fogey” will always be in Blue and Gold.

Author: Buffalo Winter


6 thoughts on “Lee “Fogey” Fogolin Jr.”

  1. Funny. He was picked right after Venezuela’s greatest ever hockey player, although Chartraw was really a Yank (and Fogolin a Canuck). Both defencemen. But, neither was near as good as Taiwan’s greatest defenceman:

    Rod Langway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Woody, I realized that Sir… I had to look up Mr. Chartraw’s birthplace because he was listed as an American for the 1974 draft and I had to lift an image of Venezuela’s flag to put on the draft image I used, and I thought what?..both are points of technical interest to me, Mr. Fogolin Jr. could have spent every day except the day he was born living in Canada, but he was born in the United States of America, so “technically”…you know, lol

      Rod Langway was indeed outstanding, my last two years in high school Mr. Langway was a Canadien, although most people will only remember him as a Washington player, too bad he never was in Buffalo I would have relished writing about this “real” Taiwanese player versus writing only about Punch’s phantom oriental draft selection.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. As soon as I went to post my comment, our Internet crashed! Thank goodness it was brief!

    You wrote that Mr. Fogolin Jr. had an injured left eye and bone chips in his wrist but played 50 games. Do you doubt that would be allowed to happen these days in the NHL?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks P_g

      Absolutely not, players today are afforded a bit more time, depending on personal recovery, look at Mr. Eichel already skating with equipment only after a month removed from neck surgery.

      I cannot remember exactly how severe Mr. Fogolin Jr.’s injuries were but the recovery time was quick for sure.

      Liked by 2 people

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