Thirteen players in Sabres history have worn jersey number 22 for the Buffalo Sabres. Perhaps the most well-known is former head coach and player Lindy Ruff, but today, we’ll look at one of the most recent players in Sabres history to rock that number: Wayne Primeau.
Center, b. 1976
Drafted by the Sabres, 1994
Primeau began his NHL career by being drafted by the Sabres, 17th overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He played one game with the Sabres in the 1994-95 season but spent most of that season in the OHL, with the Owen Sound Platers.
The next season would see him play for four different teams in three different leagues. Primeau spent 28 games with the Platers, 24 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals, eight games with the AHL’s Rochester Americans and two games with the Buffalo Sabres.
Primeau would then split the 1996-97 season between Rochester and Buffalo, suiting up in 24 games for the Amerks and 45 for the Sabres. One of the highlights of that season was when Wayne fought his older brother, Keith Primeau, in a game against Hartford on April 7, 1997.
He played all of the next two seasons in Buffalo. Then, after 41 games of the 1999-2000 season with Buffalo, Primeau was traded for the first of six times in his NHL career.
In 2000, the Sabres traded him, along with Brian Holzinger, Cory Sarich and a 2000 3rd-round pick (Alexander Kharitonov) to the Lightning in exchange for Chris Gratton and a 2001 2nd-round pick (Derek Roy). He played a total of 64 regular season games with the Lightning over the next season and a half before he was on the move again, this time to the Penguins. On February 1, 2001, the Lightning traded Primeau to Pittsburgh in exchange for former Sabre Matthew Barnaby.
After a few seasons in Pittsburgh, Primeau was then traded to San Jose on March 11, 2003 for Matt Bradley. Two and a half years later, the Sharks sent him to Boston along with Brad Stuart and Marco Sturm in exchange for Joe Thornton. A year and a half later, the Bruins swapped him, Stuart and a draft pick (T.J. Brodie) to Calgary for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew.
The final trade of his NHL career came on July 27, 2009, when the Flames traded him and a 2011 2nd-round pick (Brandon Saad) to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Anton Stralman, Colin Stuart and a 2012 7th-round pick.
He finished his NHL career with 789 penalty minutes in 774 regular season games. Primeau also scored 69 goals and added 125 assists for 194 points in his NHL career (plus 21 playoff points!)
Other Sabres to wear #22 in the team’s history: Brad Boyes, Adam Mair, Charlie Huddy, Craig Simpson, Rick Vaive, Lindy Ruff, Jocelyn Guevremont, Peter McNab, Doug Rombough, Ray McKay, Rod Zaine, Don Marshall