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Dull blades: Sabres headed toward rock bottom

It’s been more than just a lost season in Buffalo. The Sabres have regressed to the point where they are on pace for a franchise-worst 39 points this season. That would place them among the worst NHL teams in the last 40 years, in a non-expansion year.

A look at some of the other cellar dwellers:

1992-93 San Jose Sharks (24 points, 11-71-2)

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“MVP”: Kelly Kisio (26 goals, 52 assists, 78 points)

Hard to believe that a team with two young, (eventually) quality goalies in Arturs Irbe and Jeff Hackett could be so historically terrible.

1989-90 Quebec Nordiques (31 points, 12-61-7)

“MVP”: Joe Sakic (39-63-102)

Sakic didn’t have much help, but by the next season he had rookies Mats Sundin and Owen Nolan to help share the offensive load.

1980-81 Winnipeg Jets (32 points, 9-57-14)

“MVP”: Dave Christian (28-43-71)

In the franchise’s second NHL season, Winnipeg won just one of its first 33 games and allowed eight or more goals in seven of its last 27 games.

1975-76 Washington Capitals (32 points, 11-59-10)

“MVP”: Nelson Pyatt (26-23-49)

The plus side is Washington more than doubled its win total the next season — though without Milt Schmidt, who never coached again.

1975-76 Kansas City Scouts (36 points, 12-56-12)

“MVP”: Guy Charron (27-44-71)

The future Devils, in their second season, lost 14 straight games at one point and went winless in their final 27 contests (0-21-6).

1993-94 Ottawa Senators (37 points, 14-61-9)

“MVP”: Alexi Yashin (30-49-79)

Yashin and No. 1 overall pick Alexandre Daigle combined for 50 of the second-year Senators’ 201 goals (average of 2.39 GPG).

1983-94 Pittsburgh Penguins (38 points, 16-58-6)

“MVP”: Mike Bullard (51-41-92)

Last in the league in goals allowed and next-to-last in scoring, their fortunes were about to change with top draft pick Mario Lemieux.

1985-86 Detroit Red Wings (40 points, 17-57-6)

“MVP”: John Ogrodnick (38-32-70)

Steve Yzerman missed 29 games because of a broken collarbone, and the goaltending was simply terrible (5.19 goals allowed per game).

Sean Smith can be reached at s_smith@globe.com.
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