Many Buffalo Sabres fans remember Rob Ray’s playing years for this:
Domi: 0 for 13 (though there were a few close draws in there). Many Buffalo Sabres fans remember Jim Lorentz’s playing years for this:
Bat: 0 for 1.
Of course, Ray now works the Sabres broadcast between the benches, offering his commentary on what is happening on ice level. Jim Lorentz retired from game commentary in 2007, in order to complete his book on salmon fishing.
So what is it that ties these two guys together?
They are the only two members of the Sabres organization to win the NHL’s award for humanitarianism. That’s right – not for Ray’s fisticuffs on the ice, and not for Lorentz’s hard-nosed play and bat hunting. These guys were incredible spearheads of charity in WNY in their playing days.
Rob Ray is the most celebrated of the two, having won the modern version of the humanitarian award – the King Clancy Memorial Trophy – for his work during the 1998-99 season. In that span, he worked hard to bring attention and support to many charities, including the March of Dimes, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Walk America and the Roswell Cancer Institute and Children’s hospital.
Lorentz’s charity work has been almost forgotten, especially by fans of newer Sabre generations, as his award – the Charlie Conacher Humanitarian Award – has been retired to make way for the King trophy. In the 1976-77 season, Lorentz’s strident work for the muscular dystrophy programs in the United States earned him the honors over all other NHLers.
Well done, boys – and thank you both.