Jody Gage is a name that many Sabres fans may or may not know; after all, he only played 18 games with the team through his NHL career. But travel about 75 minutes east on I-90 and there will be plenty more people who know all about him; he made quite an impact during his time with the Rochester Americans.
Right Wing, b. 1959
Signed by the Sabres as a free agent, 1985
He spent 11 years in Rochester, finishing as the Amerks’ all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played. He still holds several team records to this day, including the records for game-winning goals in one season.
In addition, he’s one of just three players to record 500 career AHL goals and 1,000 career AHL points. He was inducted into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame in 2006 as part of the inaugural induction class. Prior to that, in 1999, he was inducted into the Rochester Americans Hall of Fame. The Amerks also retired his number (9) on March 19, 1999.
Gage currently serves as the Director of Strategic Planning for the Amerks, though he has also worked with the team in other capacities over the years. He’s previously acted as assistant general manager, general manager and director of player personnel.
His career with the Sabres wasn’t nearly as storied. After beginning his career in the Detroit Red Wings organization from 1979 until 1985, he signed with Buffalo as a free agent on July 31, 1985.
He’d spend most of the next nine seasons with the Rochester Americans, playing 18 games with the Sabres in the meantime. In the 1985-86 season, Gage played seven games with the Sabres. He notched three goals and two assists in that time. That season, he also had 99 points in 73 games with the Amerks.
He spent all of the next season in the AHL and most of the one after that as well. Gage played two games with the Sabres in the 1987-88 season but failed to hit the scoresheet. He did have his career-best AHL season that year, notching 104 points in 76 games.
His next NHL action wouldn’t come for several years, when he played nine games with the Sabres in the 1991-92 season. He notched one assist.
Overall in his career, Gage played just 68 NHL games, notching 14 goals and 15 assists in his big-league career. However, he made much more of an impact in the AHL. His Amerks career saw him play 653 games with Rochester and score 351 goals, adding 377 assists. That’s a total of 728 points in 653 games with the Amerks.
Other Sabres to wear #12: Kevin Porter, Mark Mancari, Ales Kotalik, Domenic Pittis, Randy Burridge, Peter Ambroziak, Bob Errey, Peter Ciavaglia, Greg Paslawski, Scott Metcalfe, Rick Vaive, Ken Priestlay, Sean McKenna, Andre Savard, Gary McAdam, Larry Mickey, Mike Byers, Skip Krake.