Today, the 2nd of April, we’ll take a look at one of the players to have worn the jersey number 2 for the Buffalo Sabres in the team’s history.
Only two players have ever worn #2 in Sabres history, with the most well-known being, of course, Tim Horton. The number was retired in 1996, though no one wore it after his death in 1974 during his tenure on the Sabres.
So who’s the other player who wore #2 for the Sabres, prior to Horton? That would be another defenseman: Jim Watson.
Defense, b. 1943
Claimed by the Sabres, 1970 expansion draft
Watson, a native of Malartic, Quebec, had plenty of experience prior to his joining the Sabres in 1970. He began his pro career with the Detroit Red Wings in 1963, but spent most of that season with the Indianapolis Capitols (Cincinnati Wings) of the CPHL. The next season, he played majorly for the AHL’s Pittsburgh Hornets, appearing in one game for the Red Wings.
This went on for several years; he played for the Red Wings as well as the Memphis Wings of the CPHL in 1965-66. The next season, exclusively for the WHL’s San Diego Gulls.
He finally found a spot in Detroit in the 1967-68 season, appearing in 61 games for the Red Wings. He notched three assists and 87 penalty minutes in that time. The next season, however, it was back to the AHL, this time for the Baltimore Clippers. He also appeared in games with the CHL’s Fort Worth Wings.
Watson spent most of the 1969-70 season with the AHL’s Cleveland Barons, appearing in four games for the Red Wings as well.
When the 1970 Expansion Draft rolled around, the Sabres claimed Watson. He was an integral part of the team’s blueline for two seasons. He appeared in 78 games for the Sabres in the 1970-71 season, notching his first NHL goal with Buffalo. He had 11 points and 147 penalty minutes that season. The following year, Watson notched eight points and 101 penalty minutes in 66 games with the Sabres.
When the 1972 WHA General Player Draft came, the Los Angeles Sharks claimed Watson. He played parts of two seasons there before being dealt to the Chicago Cougars. He was later claimed by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1975 WHA Dispersal Draft.
Watson ended his pro career with 221 games of NHL experience and 231 games of WHA experience.