|Position: Right Wing
Born: July 31, 1941
Birthplace: North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Height: 5'10" Weight: 170 lbs.
Season with Buffalo: 1970-71
Uniform Number: 21
|Before the days of the draft, an NHL team would sponsor junior teams, thereby gaining the professional rights to that team's players. It was through this sponsorship system that Paul Andrea became property of the New York Rangers organization.
Andrea spent several years in the Rangers system, mostly in the minor leagues with the St. Paul Rangers of the Central Professional Hockey League, where he played from 1963 to 1966. In his rookie year of 1963-64, Andrea scored 27 goals and 30 assists, and was named CPHL Rookie of the Year.
Despite his minor-league success, competition for jobs in the 6-team National Hockey League was fierce, and Andrea was never able to break into the Rangers' lineup. In six years in the Rangers system, he played just 4 games with the New York Rangers during the 1965-66 season.
NHL Expansion in 1967 brought Andrea to Pittsburgh, where he finally found a spot in the NHL. Paul would spend the next two seasons with Pittsburgh before being shipped out West to the California Golden Seals. 9 games into the 1970-71 season, the Seals attempted to send Andrea down to the minors. To do so, they had to leave him exposed to waivers. Andrea never cleared, being plucked from the waiver wire by Sabres GM Punch Imlach on November 2, 1970.
|Andrea did have one memorable milestone during his brief time with the Sabres. In his first game as a Sabre, he attempted the first penalty shot in franchise history. On November 5, 1970, Andrea attempted a penalty shot against Vancouver goaltender Dunc Wilson. The attempt was unsuccesful.
After spending the 1971-72 season back in the minors with Cincinnati, Andrea was eager to get back to the big leagues. Rather than wait for his chance to break back into the NHL, Andrea became one of the first players to jump to the fledgling World Hockey Association in 1972. The WHA was vigorously recruiting players from the NHL ranks, offering big money contracts to anyone who would make the jump. Many Sabres, including Andrea, defensemen Jim Watson and Al Hamilton, and forwards Ron Anderson, Danny Lawson and Mike Byers defected to the WHA in the summer of '72.
Andrea spent two seasons with the Cleveland Crusaders of the WHA. Released from the Crusaders in 1974, Andrea split the 1974-75 season between the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League and the Cape Codders of the North American Hockey League. He retired from professional hockey following the 1974-75 season.
|First penalty shot in team history: November 5, 1970 (unsuccessful) against Vancouver Canucks (Dunc Wilson).|
|1970-71 was the Sabres first season in the League, and Imlach was looking for any way he could find to improve his team. He hoped that Andrea would bring the goal scoring touch that he displayed in the minors to Buffalo. In 47 games with the Sabres that year, Andrea failed to impress, scoring only 11 goals. He was sent to the Sabres minor league affiliate, the Cincinnati Swords of the American Hockey League, for the 1971-72 season.|