Before this Party Bus’ re-employment with Total Transportation, this Billings Party Bus was owned by the Buffalo New York Sabres Hockey Team. Yes, that’s right … the Billings Party Bus transported a National Hockey League Team to countless Hockey arenas, along with all the gear, coaches, and game staff. Pretty cool.
The Buffalo Sabres are a professional ice hockey team based in Buffalo, New York. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team was established in 1970, along with the Vancouver Canucks, when the league expanded to 14 teams. They have played at KeyBank Center since 1996. Prior to that, the Buffalo Sabres played at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium from the start of the franchise in 1970. The Sabres are owned by Terry Pegula, who purchased the club in 2011.
The team has twice advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1975 and to the Dallas Stars in 1999. The best known line in team history is The French Connection, which consisted of Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and Rene Robert. All three players have had their sweater numbers (11, 7 and 14, respectively) retired and a statue erected in their honor at KeyBank Center in 2012. Tim Horton (2), Pat LaFontaine (16), Danny Gare (18) and Dominik Hasek (39) have also had their jersey numbers retired.
The Billings Bulls were a junior ice hockey organization based in Billings, Montana. They most recently played home games at the 550-seat Centennial Ice Arena and due to the arena’s small size, the Bulls frequently sold out games. They previously played their home games in the Metrapark which had a max capacity of 9,000 for hockey games. However, a negotiating dispute with arena officials and local county commissioners resulted in the team losing its lease.
The Bulls joined the American Frontier Hockey League in 1993 which became the America West Hockey League (AWHL) in 1998. The Bulls joined the Tier II Jr. A North American Hockey League in 2003 when the AWHL merged with the NAHL (keeping the NAHL name). The team played in the NAHL from 2003 to 2006 until the team and their rivals, the Bozeman Icedogs and Helena Bighorns, left to join the Northern Pacific Hockey League (NorPac), a regional league in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. When they joined the NorPac, the league was Tier III Junior B but promoted to Tier III Junior A by USA Hockey in 2007. In 2011, the Montana teams in the NorPac left the league to form the new regional American West Hockey League, made up of teams in Montana and Wyoming, including the Bulls. In March 2014, the new AWHL joined the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) as the Frontier Division.
On the opening weekend of the 2017–18 NA3HL season, the Bulls announced they would be going dormant due to lack of players. At the time, the Bulls were the second-oldest organization in the NA3HL, behind only the St. Louis Jr. Blues.