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This exceptional athlete and builder of sport enjoyed success in the amateur, college and professional ranks, both on the ice and behind the bench, in a career spanning close to six decades. Growing up in Fort William during the 1950s and 60s, Buzzy got his first taste of national success on the baseball diamond, helping the 1964 Fort William Nationals claim the region's first Canadian Senior Little League title. A standout on the ice, he advanced through the minor hockey ranks earning top honours. Securing a coveted spot on the powerful Fort William Canadiens roster, he claimed the junior league Rookie of the Year honours and was picked up by the Port Arthur Marrs for their 1967 Memorial Cup challenge.


Making his way to the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1966 he served on the Bulldogs roster from 1967-70, playing on the forward line and at defence. Named the teams 1967-68 Rookie of the Year, he led the team in scoring in all three seasons, was twice named team MVP, served as Captain of the squad in 1969-70, was named All-American, earned All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association First Team recognition, received UMD's Outstanding Senior Athlete Award and was named to UMD's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.


The property of the Montreal Canadiens, he joined the professional ranks with their AHL affiliate going on to help the 1971-72 Nova Scotia Voyageurs become the first Canadian team to win the American Hockey League's Calder Cup. Acquired by the Buffalo Sabres the following season, he won his second Calder Cup playing with the 1972-73 Cincinnati Swords. Called up by the Sabres for a game against Boston, he made his NHL debut in March of 1973. Spending the 1973-74 season with the Swords, he earned First Team AHL All-Star honours and skated in five more NHL games with the Sabres, recording three assists.


Moving into the World Hockey Association in 1974-75 he joined the defensive line of the Minnesota Fighting Saints, moving over to the New England Whalers mid-way through the 1976 season. Acquired by the Edmonton Oilers in 1977 he served as Assistant Captain the two years that he was there. Retiring from the professional ranks following the 1978 season, he returned home and spent two seasons playing with the Thunder Bay Twins before moving behind the bench, leading them to back-to-back Allan Cup titles in 1984 and 1985. Coaching at the minor league level he took a team to the 1982 Air Canada Cup and continued to serve the game at the grass roots level for many years as an instructor and valued team advisor.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 24, 2016

Ron Busniuk

Fort William/Thunder Bay
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