The Most Colorful Men in Hockey

When the Buffalo Sabres began in 1970 my family had one black and white television set in our home and I did not have any say on what we watched, so I had to listen to most all Hockey games on my transistor radio.

To this day I still listen to most NHL team’s radio broadcasts and for the most part color analyst are entertaining, here along the Lake we have one of Buffalo’s admired, respected, and well-liked former players in Mr. Rob Ray who since 2012 has done color commentary for Buffalo.

125 regular season games 796 PIM

An Ontario native from Stirling Mr. Ray was a monster when he came to play for the Rochester Americans earning well over 400 PIM while on average scoring a point every second or third game his first season.

Drafted seven spots after Buffalo selected Mr. Mogilny in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft Mr. Ray was called up from the Amerks in 1989 and scored his first NHL goal on the first shift of his first game for the Sabres.

available on Amazon

Authored a book titled “Rayzor’s Edge” on the life of a small-town Canadian boy dreaming and working towards playing in the NHL and finally reaching his goal with descriptions of his life before and during the NHL, interesting and insightful for Sabres and Hockey fans alike.

Mr. Ray was a player that caused the NHL to institute a new rule and altered the way NHL players wear their sweaters or suffer earning a game misconduct prompting fans to refer to this as the “Rob Ray Rule” professionally referred to as “Rule 56. Fisticuffs” from the NHL rule book.

Mr. Ray explained how players would cut pieces of their equipment so that it would rip away in a fight, spray silicone on their arms or sew Velcro into their equipment so nothing would fall off during the preamble to fisticuffs causing the other belligerent to get penalized.

“He said he wanted to see some ID smart guy”

His reputation prompted ESPN to call upon Mr. Ray to do a television commercial about Sportscenter’s security, he was the security officer that pummeled a deliveryman with no identification and pauses to say “Hey Coach” as Mr. Melrose walks by, very funny and can be viewed on Youtube.

HC Melrose, Mr. Ray, the victim

The first Buffalo Sabres to earn the 1999 King Clancy Memorial Trophy for the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and had made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community Mr. Ray was and still is most deserving.

Mr. Ray’s acceptance speech in 1999 had a joke about how at these NHL awards shows he usually just helps Dominik carry all his trophies and makes sure he gets home alright.

Humble Humanitarian

Contributions to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Make A Wish program, and President of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association Mr. Ray’s compassion and generosity have touched so many lives positively and his humble remarks that the kid’s smiles and the thanks from the families are his trophies.

A well-rounded and talented individual Mr. Ray offers informative and at times hilarious insights while commentating on the games that have made listening to the Sabres almost as much fun as when we watched Mr. Ray play.

Author: Buffalo Winter


4 thoughts on “The Most Colorful Men in Hockey

  1. This is probably (so far) one of my favourite articles of yours. A nice mix. I learned about another NHL-er who made big contributions on and off the ice. A good reminder of how much radio colour commentary can make or break a listener’s enjoyment of the game (also television but to a lesser extent, imho) and I learned some interesting hockey facts like his role in bringing about change to the rule book. Cool.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome BW.
        Personally I think your articles don’t have to become better. I think they are already very good in that they reflect your wide knowledge of the sport, your passion, and your ability to write well and incorporate visuals to accompany your text.

        Liked by 1 person

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