Mike Ramsey Nails Gretzky in the All Star Game

Note: in honor of today’s 32nd anniversary of Mike’s 1980 #MiracleOnIce triumph over the Soviets, we’re making this post sticky today.

Happy birthday, Mike Ramsey.

While the Sabres continue to offer up dispirited efforts on home ice, we’re turning our attention to the past today. ┬áRamsey was one of those guys who “wore his heart on his sleeve” for Buffalo, and never took a shift for granted.

Especially this one:

If I’m not mistaken, that hit earned Mike a spot on Letterman – but I don’t have the video for that.

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After winning gold with the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” team, Ramsey came to Buffalo to spend a whole lot of time protecting his netminder. He was elected to the Sabres Hall of Fame in 2001, after being elected to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. From the GBSHOF:

If one accepts the popular notion that a strong defense lies at the core of a championship team, then the Sabres’ commitment to winning in the 1980s was unquestionably signaled by the selection of Mike Ramsey as the first pick in the 1979 entry draft.

On defense, Ramsey was a shot-blocker without peer, and as a result, played through many nagging injuries. However, he was also familiar with the offensive end of the rink. Mike is the second highest scoring defenseman in Sabres’ history (73 goals, 256 assists, 329 points).

He played 911 games in a Sabres’ jersey. Along the way, he was feted by teammates as Most Valuable Player (1982-83 & 1986-87) and by selection as the Punch Imlach Award recipient (for dedication to hockey in 1987-88) and Tim Horton Award (unsung hero, in 1981-82 and 1985-86). Mike’s NHL career concluded with stops at Pittsburgh and Detroit, enabling Ramsey to become only the 99th player to appear in over 1,000 NHL games.

Happy birthday, Iron Mike.

Go Sabres.