We continue our series about Buffalo Sabres history, picking up where we left off in April. The next set in this series will run daily throughout the month of August, with each day’s post highlighting a player to have worn the subsequent jersey number with the Buffalo Sabres. This series is not designed to say that any player is the ‘best’ to have worn that jersey number, but rather to allow fans to get a taste of the team’s history and learn more about some of the players in it.
Today, we look at jersey number 31, focusing on goaltender Grant Fuhr.
Fuhr spent parts of three seasons with the Buffalo Sabres organization between 1992 and 1995. He had a storied NHL career that saw him play with six teams, starting with the Edmonton Oilers, who drafted him 8th overall in 1981.
After 10 seasons with the Oilers organization, including a Vezina Trophy win, it was time to move east – first to Toronto play a year and a half with the Leafs, then to Buffalo.
Between 1992 and 1995, Fuhr appeared in 64 games for the Sabres. He had goals-against averages of 3.47, 3.68 and 4.00 in his time with Buffalo in three seasons. He also played five games with the Rochester Americans in the 1993-94 season, accruing a 1.94 GAA.
His Sabres career saw him win the William M. Jennings Trophy for the 1993-94 season.
When his time in Buffalo was up, Fuhr went back out west to play for the Los Angeles Kings. He then spent four seasons with the St. Louis Blues before playing for the Calgary Flames organization in the 1999-2000 season.
After his playing career ended, Fuhr acted as goalie coach of the WHL’s Prince George Cougars during the 2003-04 season. He then spent four seasons as goalie coach of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Fuhr was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.
Jersey number 31 has certainly largely been a goalie’s number in Buffalo Sabres history; all but two of the players to have worn the #31 have been netminders.
Stay tuned throughout the month of August as we continue our “Who Wore It” series in Buffalo Sabres history.