Busniuk was a small (5'11", 180 pounds) but abrasive defenseman
who starred at every level he played. He only got into a total of
6 NHL games, all with the Sabres, before jumping to hockey's other
major league - the World Hockey Association.
was one of the few players who graduated from a hockey program at
a United States university in the late 1960s and went on to play in
the National Hockey League. Born
and raised in Fort William, Ontario, Ron played junior hockey in the
Montreal Canadiens system until 1967 when he began attending the University
of Minnesota Duluth. Before he graduated he would become a collegiate
all star. He would later be inducted into the university's sports
hall of fame.
turned pro in 1970, playing two years of minor professional hockey
with Montreal's farm teams in the American Hockey League. Though the
Canadiens liked his aggressive play, his lack of size caused the Canadiens
experimented with playing Ron on right wing.
Buffalo Sabres acquired Ron in the summer of 1972 in a cash deal.
Ron reported to the Sabres AHL farm team in Cincinnati where he was
returned to the blue line and was a standout. Ron scored 5 goals and
39 points while accumulating 205 penalty minutes and first team all
star status. He also made his NHL debut that season. In one game with
the Sabres he tried his best to make an impression, picking up 9 minutes
returned to Cincinnati in 1973-74, but did get called up for 5 games
with the Sabres. This time he tried to impress the Sabres brass with
more than just his tenacity, as he set up 3 goals.
Sabres lost Ron's playing rights in the summer of 1974. He was claimed
by the Detroit Red Wings in an intra-league draft, but it mattered
not as Ron opted to use his free agency status to sign on with the
World Hockey Association.
would play with three WHA teams until his retirement in 1978. Initially
he returned to Minnesota where he was one of a number of rambunctious
players on the Fighting Saints. He spent a year and half there before
signing on with the New England Whalers and finished his career with
a year and a half with the Edmonton Oilers, where he served as an
brother of former Philadelphia Flyer Mike Busniuk, scored 9 goals
and 73 points in 286 WHA games. He had 3 assists in 6 NHL games with