Who is the greatest American-born player to play for the Buffalo Sabres?

Pittsburgh Penguins v Buffalo Sabres
Pittsburgh Penguins v Buffalo Sabres / Sean Rudyk/GettyImages

With today being July 4th, it's time to think about some of the American-born players who played for the Buffalo Sabres. Throughout the 53 year existence of the franchise, there have been tons and tons of players who were born in America. But who was the best to play for the team to this date?

After doing some research, I picked three players to choose from.

Pat LaFontaine

The first candidate, Pat LaFontaine. After coming over from the New York Islanders, LaFontaine continued his hall of fame career with the Sabres. In 268 games played with Buffalo, Pat scored 158 goals and 227 assists for 385 points. Because of his fantastic career with the Sabres, his number 16 hangs from the rafters at KeyBank Center.

LaFontaine holds the franchise record for points (148) and assists (95) in a season.

Phil Housley

Up next, former head coach and defenseman Phil Housley. Just like LaFontaine, Housley earned a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame. During his impressive 21 year playing career, eight of those seasons were with the Sabres. In his second year, the defenseman scored 31 goals.

Overall with Buffalo, Housley scored 178 goals and registered 380 assists for 558 points. Phil was a vital part of the Sabres during the 80s and his 558 points are the franchise record holder for most points by a defenseman all time.

Ryan Miller

The last candidate is goaltender Ryan Miller. He played 19 seasons in the NHL, 11 of those with Buffalo. Back in the mid-late 2000s when the Sabres were one of the best teams in the NHL, Miller was the driving force and the face of the franchise. Following the conclusion of the 2009/2010 season, Ryan won the Vezina trophy, given to the league's best goaltender.

During the 2010 Olympics, Miller was the tournament's MVP despite falling short in the gold medal game as he finished the Olympics with a .946 SV% and a 1.35 GAA, which are both American records in the Olympics.

Miller is the franchise's leader in games played by a goaltender (540), wins with 284 and saves (14,847). Just like LaFontaine, his jersey number is also hanging from the rafters and he should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

In my opinion, I think the greatest American-born player to dawn the Sabres uniform is Miller.