This home white knit gamer by Maska was worn by Derek Smith during the 1979-80 NHL season. Smith was at his career best while under the guidance of Scotty Bowman who assumed coach and GM duties for the Sabres at the beginning of the 1979-80 campaign. He flourished scoring 24 goals and 63 points in 1979-80 and followed that up with a 64 point effort in 1980-81. Early into the 1981-82 season, Smith was traded as part of a blockbuster deal along with Danny Gare and Jim Schoenfeld who all headed to the Detroit Red Wings. Derek failed to produce in Detroit as he had under Bowman and found his career come to an abrubt end following the 1982-83 season.
Sewn to the right breast of this beautiful Maska knit is the 1980 Olympic patch. The game use on this sweater is magnificent and includes literally hundreds of stick marks, board burns, board paint transfer, inner pilling, un-repaired holes and numerous team-sewn repairs. By our count there are in excess of 40 team-sewn repairs found throughout the sleeves and body of this awesome jersey. This set of sweaters was worn by the Sabres for the majority of the 1979-80 NHL season. Under new boss Scotty Bowman for the first time, Buffalo won the Adams division with 110 points and allowed a mere 201 goals against, a league best total.
The Sabres stormed into the playoffs eventually falling at the hands of the New York Islanders dynasty in the Semi Finals, thus completing one of the most exciting seasons in team history. The 1980 Olympics are thought of by many hockey fans as the greatest moment in the history of the sport. Those Olympic Games took place in Lake Placid, New York. Buffalo was one of two NHL teams, the New York Islanders being the other, who donned the 1980 Olympic patch on their game jerseys. A fantastic opportunity for any Sabres or Olympic collector to acquire the exceedingly rare home white version of these highly coveted gamers.