The Buffalo Sabres are a professional ice hockey team based in Buffalo, New York. The Sabres, along with the Vancouver Canucks, joined the NHL in the 1970–71 season. Their first owners were Seymour Knox III and Northrup Knox, scions of a family long prominent in Western New York. The Knoxes commissioned a name-the-team contest. The winning choice, "Sabres," was chosen because Seymour Knox felt that a sabre, a weapon carried by a leader, could be used effectively on both offense and defense.