JIM LORENTZ

JIM LORENTZ

Buffalo Sabres Forward and Broadcaster

Jim Lorentz played over 700 regular season and playoff games in ten seasons in the NHL. As good as he was on the ice as a player; he may be more well-known for his work as a member of the Sabres broadcast team for 27 years.

Like most young boys growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Jim Lorentz dreamed of making it to the NHL one day. After three seasons of junior hockey with the Niagara Falls Flyers of the OHA, Jim joined the professional ranks as a member of the Oklahoma City Blazers, the Boston Bruins minor league affiliate. The young forward made a splash as rookie-of-the-year, and in year two, he earned league MVP honors while leading the league in scoring with 101 points in 56 games.

His dream came true during the 1968-69 season when he earned a spot on the Bruins roster alongside Phil Esposito, Johnny Bucyk and Wayne Cashman. Lorentz was on the bench when Bobby Orr scored his famous leaping goal to win the Stanley Cup against the St. Louis Blues in 1970.

After an off-season trade, Lorentz started the next season with the Blues, but was then traded to the New York Rangers during his second season in St. Louis. After a short stint there, Lorentz was shipped to Buffalo and finally got enough ice time to establish himself as an everyday NHL player.

Lorentz was a solid, two-way player for the Sabres. He skated alongside Craig Ramsay and Don Luce on one of the finest defensive lines in the game at the time. He also had the touch of a playmaker and had four 20-goal seasons as a Sabre. He scored 134 goals and over 300 points during his six seasons in Buffalo.

Lorentz retired after the 1977-78 season, and after a brief time as the coach of the Buffalo Junior Sabres, he became a member of the Sabres broadcast team. He worked as the color commentator alongside broadcast legends Ted Darling and Rick Jeanneret for 27 seasons before retiring from the booth in 2007.

Despite his solid play on the ice, and his expertise in the broadcast booth, Lorentz’s most notable claim to fame may be when a bat decided to take flight in Memorial Auditorium during a 1975 Stanley Cup playoff game. After several players tried to knock it out of the air, Lorentz took one swipe at it with his stick and knocked it to the ice. Since then, Lorentz has carried the moniker “Batman.”

Lorentz was inducted to the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame February 9, 2010. He has been an avid fisherman since his retirement from broadcasting and he is currently working on a book about salmon fishing.