One of the best things about hockey is the names. There have been some legendary ones, too. Ziggy Palffy, Radek Bonk and my personal favorite, Zarley Zalapski all come to mind when you think of what makes a great hockey name.

A great hockey name is difficult to quantify. I like to think it’s something that I can’t describe but I know it when I see it. Therefore, I set out to cobble together a roster of former Sabres based on the quality of their name.

The roster that will follow was constructed to accomplish a few things. First, to be a complete hockey roster with four lines, three sets of defensemen and a pair of goalies. I attempted to stick with some form of roster construction but the second stipulation for my team prevented me from doing so. My second focus was the player’s name. Career accomplishments were taken into account but only as an ancillary factor.

As a side note, I split the team up into lines but the trios were constructed with little regard for how that line would perform on the ice. Lastly, my definition of a “great hockey name” is probably different than yours. My determination lies somewhere in the realm of sounding kind of funny, random consonants or simply unique first or last names.

Therefore, here is my entry for the Sabres All-Time Name Roster:






Miroslav Satan


Clark Gillies


Gilles Hamel

Real Cloutier


Pierre Turgeon


Real Lemieux

Dave Snuggerud


Spinner Spencer


Eddie Shack

Morris Titanic


Skip Krake


Gates Orlando

Jaroslav Kristek


Wilf Paiement


Miroslav Satan – This one pretty much speaks for itself. Sure it isn’t pronounced the way it is spelled but fans sure loved the Slovakian scorer’s surname and it will go down in the annals of hockey history as one of the most unique names to grace an NHL sweater.

Clark Gilles – By the time he reached Buffalo his star had significantly faded from his time with the Islanders. However, Gillies is just one of those tried and true hockey names. You see it throughout the annals of NHL history. Clark is also a damn solid first name.

Gilles Hamel – Plural first names are fun. Not to be jingoistic but it strikes me as an inherently Canadian name to have. Hamel had a pretty decent run in Buffalo playing 365 games here before moving along.  

Real Cloutier & Real Lemieux – This is in fact a name of a player who once played for the Sabres. Two guys actually named Real donned the Blue and Gold over the past 43 years. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

Pierre Turgeon – If you’ve noticed a growing trend on this list it is that French Canadian names are beginning to dominate. Those thick, heavy French first and last names are always easy to associate with the sport, Turgeon is no exception.

Dave Snuggerud – Snugger. Ud. Snuggerud. That’s a pretty terrific name and the former checking line center has a surname that serves as a perfect example for what makes up a hockey name. Just imagine if his first name was Gord.

Spinner Spencer – Technically it is Brian “Spinner” Spencer but so many referred to him just as Spinner that he qualifies. Spencer had a great run with the Sabres and his classic nickname helps his legend live on.

Morris Titanic – Does this really need an explanation. This is a name and a half. He wears the C on this team.

Skip Krake – Another nickname that elevated a player to the roster, Krake has a pretty interesting last name that helped his resume. A fine addition for the fourth line.

Gates Orlando – A close second to Titanic for the best name on the squad. Orlando deserves an A on this roster of hockey names.


Jaroslav Kristek & Wilf Paiement – These two make it as extra forwards for very different reasons. Kristek has the type of hockey name that runs right up there with the Zalapskis and Bonks. Paiement’s is just so unusual that it would’ve been a crime not to include him.




Jerry Korab


John Van Boxmeer

Hannu Virta


Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre

Rumun Ndur


Gord Donnelly


Jerry “King Kong” Korab – Korab’s nickname is probably one of the best in Sabres history. He also happened to be a darn good defenseman, which helps. King Kong definitely deserves a place on my list.

John Van Boxmeer ­– A very talented defenseman who happens to also has a pretty great last name.

Hannu Virta – You don’t get much more Scandinavian than Hannu or Virta. I’m sure this translates to John Smith in Finland but it translates to awesome here in Buffalo.

Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre – Grand-Pierre was one of my favorite players growing up and regularly survived my dream team trade binges on NHL 99. Also, double hypens.

Rumun Ndur – The Nigerian Nightmare didn’t have much to offer on the ice, but he’s got a name you’ll never forget.

Gord Donnelly – His name is Gord. He’s a hockey player. That is enough for third pairing minutes for me.



Daren Puppa

Rocky Farr



Daren Puppa – I tried to stay away from obviously silly names, because that isn’t what this exercise was all about. However, I’ll make an exception for Puppa in this case.

Rocky Farr – Classy nickname, works well for a goalie. Perfect way to round out the roster.

Feel free to add your own thoughts, your own edits and lineups in the comments.