We continue our series about Buffalo Sabres history, 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.
Smehlik spent the majority of his NHL career in Buffalo, spending nine seasons with the Sabres between 1992 and 2002.
The Ostrava, Czech Republic native was originally drafted by the Sabres in 1990 with the 97th overall selection in that year’s draft.
After being drafted by the Sabres, Smehlik continued his playing career in Czech with Dukla Jihlava before joining the NHL in the 1992-93 season. His rookie season saw him notch 31 points, 59 penalty minutes and a plus-nine rating in 80 games. He also had four points (all assists) in eight playoff games.
Smehlik would continue to play for the Sabres until 2002, but missed the entire 1995-96 season after knee surgery.
Overall, he played 589 regular season games with the Sabres and racked up 47 goals and 135 assists in that stretch.
He also had 399 penalty minutes during his time with Buffalo.
He became a free agent in 2002 and elected to sign with the Atlanta Thrashers, where he played 43 games before being traded to the New Jersey Devils.
Smehlik went to New Jersey with a pair of 2004 draft picks (Josh Disher, Nathan Perkovich) in exchange for a 4th-round draft pick in 2003 (Mike Vannelli).
After winning the Stanley Cup in 2003 with the Devils – after playing just 12 regular season games with New Jersey – he retired.
Tags: Buffalo Sabres