Paul Wieland

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Paul Wieland was the winner of 27 regional and national reporting awards, the author of four books, and a university professor, but for more than a quarter of a century he led the Buffalo Sabres  communication efforts, first as their inaugural Public Relations Director, and later as the Director of Communications.

Wieland brought live broadcasting to the Sabres organization, first over the radio airwaves, and later as television broadcasts. He worked as a color commentator, alongside his friend and colleague Ted Darling, and Rick Jeanneret, whom he hired in 1971.

He was a broadcast pioneer, and under his leadership, the team introduced game broadcasts on local cable in the 1970s. He also developed the very first postgame show, the 4th Period, which aired from the Aud Club. As a television director and producer, Wieland’s game broadcasts became the training ground and launching pad for countless other professionals whom he mentored.

As a color commentator, Wieland traded witticisms with his friend and colleague Ted Darling, sometimes in the guise of Ralph Sincere. He penned a wry column called At Sabrepoint and brought his characteristically zany sense of humor to all aspects of the Sabres organization.

Wieland also managed the production of the team’s game program, and contributed “At Sabrepoint” and “Mel Moonlight” columns to the publication.

For all of his groundbreaking work in communications, Wieland was best known to his colleagues and to sports media outlets as a prankster. He created annual April Fool’s press releases, which included the fictional draft pick Taro Tsujimoto, the ice alternative Sliderex, selling pieces of the Aud’s ice, and the designation purportedly made by President Ronald Reagan of the Sabres as “America’s Team.”

Long after his retirement, Sabres fans still enjoy Wieland’s influence on the Sabres experience. He was responsible for the playing of the Canadian national anthem at home games, the creation of the Sabres Hall of Fame in 1980, and the introduction of fan favorite Sabretooth in 1987.

Paul Wieland passed away on February 16, 2023 at the age of 84.