Here it is: today, the 30th and final day of the month of April, we’re going to take a look at one of the players in Sabres history who has worn the jersey number 30.
The jersey number 30 has almost exclusively been a goalie number in the Sabres organization. In fact, just one of the 12 players who have worn the number in the team’s history played a position other than goalie; that was Val James, who who was a left winger with the Sabres for seven games in the 1981-82 season.
Today, we’re going to take a look back at goaltender Clint Malarchuk.
Goaltender, b. 1961
Acquired by the Sabres via trade, 1989
Malarchuk was drafted out of the WHL’s Portland Winter Hawks in 1981, as the Quebec Nordiques selected him with the 74th overall selection in that year’s NHL entry draft. He played two games with Quebec the next season, spending most of the year with the Fredericton Express of the AHL.
He split the next three seasons between Quebec and Fredericton until the 1986-87 season, which saw him appear in an NHL career-high 54 games for the Nordiques. That would be his last season in Quebec, however, as on June 13, 1987, the Nordiques sent Dale Hunter and Malarchuk to the Capitals in exchange for Gaetan Duchene, Alan Haworth and a 1987 first-rounder that ended up being Joe Sakic.
He’d spend the next year and a half with the Capitals.
Malarchuk came to the Sabres on March 6, 1989 in a trade from Washington. The Sabres got Grant Ledyard, Malarchuk and a 1991 6th-round pick (Brian Holzinger); the Capitals got Calle Johansson and a 1989 2nd-rounder.
Just 16 days after his trade to Buffalo, Malarchuk would suffer the injury that would change his career when his neck was cut by an opponent’s skate in a game against the St. Louis Blues. I won’t link to any videos or photos of the incident here; it’s quite gruesome, so please be aware and cautious if you even Google his name at any time.
Malarchuk played for the Sabres from 1989 until 1992. He appeared in 92 regular season games with the Sabres, plus two with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, before he decided to leave the NHL. After his time in Buffalo, Malarchuk went on to spent five seasons in the IHL with the San Diego Gulls and Las Vegas Thunder.
When his playing career ended, Malarchuk became an assistant coach with the Thunder, then head coach in 1997-98. He went on to coach the WCHL’s Idaho Steelheads for two seasons. Since 2002, however, Malarchuk has acted as a goalie coach in the NHL – first with Florida, then Columbus, and now with the Calgary Flames since 2011.
Other Sabres to wear #30 in the team’s history: Ryan Miller, Dwayne Roloson, Andrei Trefilov, Tom Barrasso, Paul Harrison, Val James, Randy Ireland, Gerry Desjardins, Rocky Farr, Dave Dryden, Joe Dale
That wraps up our 30-Day “Who Wore It” series here at SabreNoise. I hope you all have enjoyed this series, designed not to select the “best” player who wore any specific number, but rather to introduce some different players to Sabres fans of all ages and take a look back at the team’s history.