Born: January 9, 1955
Birthplace: Welland, Ontario, Canada
Height: 6'1" Weight: 190 lbs. Shoots: Left
Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres, 2nd Round, 35th
Overall, 1975 NHL Amatuer Draft and by the
Toronto Toros, 4th Round, 56th Overall, 1975
WHA Amatuer Draft
Seasons with Buffalo: 1975-76 to 1978-79
Uniform Number: 23, 26
|Ken Breitenbach first came to the attention of the Buffalo Sabres as a member of, well, the Sabres. Growing up in Welland, Ontario Breitenbach was a member of the Ontario Hockey Association Tier II Welland Sabres in the early 1970's. Breitenbach's play with the Junior A Sabres earned him a spot in the OHA's Major Junior League, with the St. Catharines Black Hawks.
Breitenbach made his Major Junior debut with the Black Hawks in the 1972-73 season, and played 37 games without drawing a single penalty minute. Breitenbach blossomed his sophomore season, becoming an offensive force on the blue line. In 68 games, he scored 4 goals and 34 assists. Breitenbach turned in a 37 point performance in the 1974-75 season.
His efforts were rewarded on Draft Day, when he was selected in the 2nd Round of the NHL Amatuer Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. Breitenbach was the 35th player taken overall. Breitenbach was also selected in the World Hockey Association's Amatuer Draft, in the 4th Round, with the 56th overall selection, by the Toronto Toros.
|Following the 1975 Draft, Breitenbach was assigned to the Sabres' top minor league affiliate, the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. Breitenbach made his professional debut with the Bears in the 1975-76 season, playing in 57 games. He had one goal and 19 points as a rookie for the Bears. A late season call up, he also played seven regular season games and one playoff game for the Sabres that season.|
|Breitenbach split the 1976-77 season between Hershey and Buffalo, playing 37 games with the Bears, and 31 with the Sabres. Breitenbach scored his first NHL points that year, with 5 assists.
Breitenbach entered training camp in the fall of 1977 with high hopes for a full time spot in the Sabres lineup. Those hopes were dashed in the pre-season, when Breitenbach's right leg was broken on October 9, 1977. The injury occured when Breitenbach was involved in a collision in front of the Buffalo net during a pre-season game in the Philadelphia Spectrum. The injury sidelined Breitenbach for the entire 1977-78 season. After months of rehabilitation, Breitenbach was ready and able to play by the time the 1978 playoffs rolled around, but his services were not needed by the Sabres, who were defeated in the Quarterfinal Round by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Breitenbach was back in action in the 1978-79 season. Sent to Hershey on a rehabilitation assignment early in the year, Breitenbach was called up to Buffalo where he finished the season. Breitenbach played in 30 games for the Sabres that year. Breitenbach scored his first (and only) NHL goal that season, and added 8 assists. He also played in 4 playoff contests for the Sabres.
|The leg injury which caused Breitenbach to miss the entire 1977-78 season hampered him throughout the 1978-79 season. Unable to regain his stride and fully recover from the injury, Breitenbach retired from professional hockey following the 1978-79 campaign.
Currently, Ken Breitenbach is a member of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association. He plays in several charity games a year with the Alumni Association team.