Buffalo Sabres 1996-97

Tino Paolini

1 in stock

Watercolor Painting

Tino Paolini

This beautifully framed piece features an original piece of watercolor artwork glass-framed in an attractive two inch wide black resin frame with a double mat. The outer dimensions of the framed piece are approximately 17” wide x 24.5” high, although the exact size will vary according to the size of the original piece of art.

$595.00 USD - Price includes framing as well as fast, free shipping with UPS

This beautifully framed piece features an original piece of watercolor artwork glass-framed in an attractive two inch wide black resin frame with a double mat. The outer dimensions of the framed piece are approximately 17” wide x 24.5” high, although the exact size will vary according to the size of the original piece of art.

At the core of the framed piece is the actual piece of original artwork as painted by the artist on textured 100% rag, water-marked watercolor paper. In many cases the original artwork has handwritten notes in pencil from the artist (be sure to “See the actual artwork without the frame” elsewhere in this website). Simply put, this is beautiful, one-of-a-kind artwork.

The outer mat is a rich textured black acid-free mat with a decorative inset white v-groove, while the inner mat is a complimentary colored acid-free mat reflecting one of the team’s primary colors. The website image of this framed piece shows the mat color that we suggest (Medium Blue), but since each piece is custom framed, we are happy to use whatever color mat you wish (depending on availability) – our standard mat colors are:

Light Blue / Dark Blue / Brown / Maroon (close to brown) / White / Silver / Gold / Yellow (bright yellow) / Green (dark green) / Orange / Purple / Red (bright red, somewhat close to PMS 186)

Beneath the artwork is a silver plate with black text describing the original artwork. The text for this piece will read:

This original, one-of-a-kind watercolor painting of the 1996-97 Buffalo Sabres jersey is the original artwork that was used in the creation of this Buffalo Sabres uniform evolution print and tens of thousands of other Buffalo Sabres products that have been sold across North America. This original piece of art was painted by artist Tino Paolini for Maple Leaf Productions Ltd.

Beneath the silver plate is a 3” x 9” reproduction of a well known, best-selling print that celebrates the history of the team. The print beautifully illustrates the chronological evolution of the team’s uniform and shows you how the original art was used in the creation of this print. If you look closely, you will see that the print features the actual artwork being offered for sale. The 3” x 9” print looks like this:

The piece is framed with an extremely high quality framing glass. We have used this glass style for many years with excellent results. We package every piece very carefully in a double layer of bubble wrap and a rigid double-wall cardboard package to avoid breakage at any point during the shipping process, but if damage does occur, we will gladly repair, replace or refund. Please note that all of our products come with a 90 day 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Each framed piece also comes with a two page letter signed by Scott Sillcox describing the history behind the art. If there was an extra-special story about your piece of art, that story will be included in the letter. When you receive your framed piece, you should find the letter lightly attached to the front of the framed piece.

If you have any questions, at any time, about the actual artwork or about any of the artist’s handwritten notes on the artwork, I would love to tell you about them. Simply email me, Scott Sillcox, at scott@heritagesportsart.com and I will tell you everything I can about your original piece of art. The artists and I spent well over ten years of our lives creating these pieces of original artwork, and in many cases there are stories I can tell you about your actual piece of artwork that might add an extra element of interest in your one-of-a-kind purchase.

Please note that all reproduction rights for this original work are retained in perpetuity by the National Hockey League unless specifically stated otherwise in writing by the NHL. For further information, please contact Heritage Sports Art at questions@heritagesportsart.com .



The 1996-97 season was one of many highs and lows for the normally low-profile Buffalo Sabres. On April 14, 1996 the Sabres played their last game at the only home the team knew, the Memorial Auditorium as the 95-96 season concluded and the Sabres missed the playoffs.When the new season opened in September the Sabres moved into their new home, a brand new state of the art facility called the Marine Midland Area.  Sadly, however Seymour H. Knox III, one of the teams founding fathers, who fought hard to get a new arena built to save the franchise from dire financial trouble was not around to see the opening the new arena, passed away on May 22, 1996.After missing the playoffs the previous season there were few expectations placed on the Sabres even though fans were growing tired of the mediocrity. The Sabres we're not particularly deep offensively and that problem was compounded when captain Pat Lafontaine was lost for the season due to a severe concussion early in the season. Lafontaine led the team in scoring the previous year with 91 points.The team responded to challenge. Without his offensive star, second year coach Ted Nolan got the most out of his team by inspiring them to play with an all-for-one-one-for-all attitude. The team was billing themselves as The Hardest Working Team In Hockey  They had a balanced scoring attack with no player scoring more than 28 goals. Donald Audette was the team leader and gritty forwards like Derek Plante, Brian Holzinger and Mike Peca chipped in with 27, 22, and 20 goals respectively.The Sabres rose up the standings thanks to some fine play from gaolie Dominik Hasek.  Hasek was dominant playing in 67 games he won 37, posted a 2. 27 goals against average and had a .930 save percentage. His stellar play earned him the Venzina Trophy for best goalie and the Hart Trophy for league MVP, the first goalie to win the two awards in the same year since Jacques Plant in 1962.The Sabres shocked many by running off a 12-game unbeaten streak in mid-winter and then holding on the rest of the way to win the Northeast Division with a 40-30-12 record. The accomplishment represented the teams first-division title since winning the Adams Division championship in 1981. In the playoffs the Sabres first round opponent was the Ottawa Senators. The Sabres beat the Sens in a thrilling seven game series that wrapped up when Derek Plante scored a thrilling goal at 5:24 of overtime.  Back up goalie Steve Shields played the series because Hasek was out with a groin injury. While rehabbing his injury, Hasek would get suspended for getting into a scuffle with a reporter. Shields would remain in net in the 2nd round and the Sabres were knocked out of the playoffs by the Philadelphia Flyers in 5 games.Throughout the season, there was turmoil in the organization that threatened the stability of the franchise.  This turmoil would ultimately cost GM John Muckler his job and despite winning the Jack Adams Award for Coach of the Year Nolan would be fired as well.The Sabres introduced new uniforms before moving into the new Marine Midland Arena in September of 1996. They abandoned the classic blue and gold team colours for a black, red, grey and white scheme. The road jersey was black with red, grey and white accents coming off the hips and sleeve cuffs. The numerals were white outlined with red. They also introduced two new logos: the primary logo a new, angry-looking buffalo head logo outlined in black and red and a secondary logo a stylized B with a Sabre running through it.  A special patch with the letters SHK III, honouring the late Seymour H. Knox, was worn on the upper right chest of the jersey.

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