By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

Let’s continue our short series on those who spent only one year as a member of a particular professional team in Buffalo, and then moved on. In this case, we’ll deal with the Buffalo Bandits – which means that co-coaches Rich Kilgour and John Tavares probably have stories to tell about each of them.

A few ground rules about the master list. As usual, only players who were in uniform for one season qualify. For these purposes, I only took players that participated in at least eight games. That might leave out a few guys from the early seasons, when the schedule was much shorter than it is today. But, you have to draw a line somewhere. That rule also applies to goalies, although determining games played is difficult because they get credit for suiting up without having to go into the game.

Here’s the list of one-year players who had good-sized roles during their one season in Buffalo:

Name – Year – GP – G-A-Pts.
Reid Acton – 2018 – 10 – 0-0-0
Kevin Buchanan – 2012 – 15 GP, 10-19-29
*Alex Buque – 18 GP, 6W-6L, 12.94 GAA
Bill Callan – 1997 – 9 GP, 7-7-14
Callum Crawford – 2018 – 9 GP, 15-20-35
Paul Day – 1992 – 8 GP, 3-4-7
Tim Edwards- 2017 – 12 GP, 2-5-7
Tyler Francey – 2005 – 9 GP, 1-0-1
Vaughn Harris – 2018 – 14 GP, 18-14-32
Jeff Hardill – 1994 – 8 GP, 2-6-8
Brian Nikula – 1994 – 8 GP, 8-1-9
Bill O’Hanlon – 1992 – 8 GP, 5-1-6
Chris Panos – 1997 – 8 GP, 16-9-25
Neal Powless – 2004 – 11 GP, 9-10-19
Chris Prat – 2000 – 12 GP, 20-15-35
Blaze Riorden – 2017 – 9 GP, 6-13-19
Ethan Schott – 2018 – 9 GP, 0-3-3
Brad Self – 2017 – 12 GP, 13-23-36
Andy Shaughnessy – 1994 – 8 GP, 1-5-6
Rory Smith – 2014 – 18 GP, 0-6-6
Dallas Squire – 1998 – 8 GP, 7-6-13
Kim Squire – 2006 – 12 GP, 13-10-23
Rodd Squire – 1995 – 8 GP, 0-2-2
Jeremy Thompson – 2012 – 14 GP, 3-6-9
Nick Trudeau – 1998 – 8 GP, 5-1-6
*Phil Wetherup – 2001 – 12 GP – 6W-4L, 15.76 GAA

*-Indicates a goaltender

The scoring leaders could have been guessed. Brad Self and Callum Crawford were in the midst of good seasons when they were traded. Vaughn Harris was lost in the expansion draft, and he was the only other player with as many as 30 points.

My classic one-hit wonders for the Bandits, then, come from the defensive end. Alex Buque was acquired from Colorado in an attempt to solve Buffalo’s goaltending problems. He proved to be up and down in his one season, and was made expendable when the Bandits signed Matt Vinc as a free agent. Buque went to New England in a trade, and then moved to New York in the expansion draft.

The other was Rory Smith, a warrior of a defenseman who was miserable to play against. Smith sounded like a favorite of the coaching staff, but the Bandits had a chance to ship him to Vancouver in a deal that included two first-round draft picks coming here. They grabbed that chance, and have had no regrets.

There’s one name on the list that Tavares knows about. Brian Nikula was supposed to be an original Bandit in 1992 – but was traded to Detroit for Tavares in October 1991. They were teammates in 1994.

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

Leave a Reply