Congratulations are in order for a former member of the Buffalo Sabres, Taylor Pyatt joined an exclusive club. No, he hasn’t scored 500 goals, he will need at least three more full seasons to make it to 1,000 games played – and he hasn’t won anything major. The former Buffalo Sabres forward has however, become only the fifth person to play for all three teams in New York State.
Taylor Pyatt today signed a two year deal with the New York Rangers worth $3.1 million dollars. By doing that, he joins Pat Lafontaine, Martin Biron, Jason Dawe, and Mike Donnelly as the only NHL players to play for all three professional teams in New York.
Pyatt was drafted by the New York Islanders and was traded to the Buffalo Sabres along with Tim Connolly in return for Michael Peca. After his tenure in Buffalo, Pyatt had stop overs in Vancouver, and most recently Phoenix before signing on with the New York Rangers completing the New York Hat Trick.
Here’s a look at the four other players who have called New York home on many occasions.
Pat Lafontaine was the first player in the group to make it to the NHL. The Islanders had traded for the rights to the Colorado Rockies first round pick in the draft, which turned out to be Pat Lafontaine. Lafontaine had a great run with the Islanders, scoring the winning goal in the famous Easter Epic overtime game. Concussion troubles started for the American born forward while on the Island. In October of 1991 the Islanders traded Lafontaine to the Buffalo Sabres.
The 1996-1997 season was the beginning of the end for Lafontaine. After suffering another concussion, he was traded to the New York Rangers after the Sabres refused to clear him for play, recommending that he retire. He made it one full season with the Rangers before hanging them up.
Lafontaine is the only player in the Class of New York to only play for New York based teams. He always joked that he played for three great teams and never had to change license plates. As a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, he is also the most successful NHL player on this list.
Mike Donnelly would join the league shortly after Lafontaine. Drafted by the New York Rangers, he would be traded to the Buffalo Sabres during the 1987-1988 team that also brought the Buffalo Sabres the draft pick that woul bring Alexander Mogilny to the Buffalo Sabres organization.
Donnelly only appeared in 22 games as a New York Ranger. After three seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, he appeared in 74 games for the blue and gold before being traded to the Los Angeles Kings. Mike Donnelly would play five seasons in Tinsel Town before being traded to the Dallas Stars organization. After two seasons there, he would wear Islanders orange for three games in 1996-1997.
Along with the NHL, Donnelly saw stops in the IHL and the Swiss-A league before leaving professional hockey. Of the five players in this group, he spent the least amount of time with the teams in New York, with Buffalo being the team he spent the most time with.
Only two players in this group were drafted by the Buffalo Sabres, Jason Dawe an Martin Biron. Jason Dawe joined Sabres organization in 1993 and would remain a Sabre until 1998 when the Buffalo Sabres traded him to the New York Islanders for Paul Kruse and Jason Holland. Dawe was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft which was held in Buffalo.
After just 35 games across two seasons with the New York Islanders, Jason Dawe found himself North of the border playing for the Montreal Canadiens.
Dawe would return to New York to play for the Rangers, in just four games across two seasons.
Dawe would spend the remainder of his career in the minor leagues, with stops in the IHL, AHL, ECHL, and overseas in SM-Ligga.
Jason Dawe had the assist on the infamous game winning Dave Hannan goal, the game that sent the series between the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils back to where Jimmy Hoffa is.
Martin Biron was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft with the 16th overall pick. He was supposed to have supplanted Dominik Hasek as the Buffalo Sabres starting goaltender. Instead – many were surprised when a fifth round draft pick would change the culture of the Sabres crease, and Marty soon found himself backing up Ryan Miller. Wanting to play in the starting role himself, Biron asked the Buffalo Sabres for a trade, and he was sent to the Philadephia Flyers.
After his stint in Philadephia, Biron decided to test the free agent waters.
Biron signed with the New York Islanders an appeared in 29 games for an Islanders team that had crease issues.
Realizing any chance of success was not going to happen in one New York franchise, Biron seems to have found a home with the New York Rangers, recently signing another contract to remain the backup goaltener to Vezina winning goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.