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.
Next up, we move on to jersey number 48, which has been worn by two players in Sabres history. It’s been seven years since anyone suited up as #48 for the Sabres, with center Daniel Briere as the last person to wear that number.
The Gatineau, Quebec native began his NHL career with the Phoenix Coyotes, who drafted him out of the QMJHL 24th overall in 1996. The years between 1997 and 2001 saw him play with Phoenix, but also with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL and Las Vegas Thunder of the IHL.
He’d then spend nearly two full seasons with the NHL club before being traded to Buffalo.
Briere joined the Sabres for 14 games at the end of that season, notching 12 points in that stretch. His first full season with the Sabres saw him appear in all 82 games – one of just two players to do so. He had 28 goals and a team-high 37 assists for 65 points (team lead). He also had 70 penalty minutes.
During the great NHL lockout of 2004-05, Briere took his talents overseas to play for Bern in the Swiss-A league.
After the lockout, NHLers returned to their respective North American teams and for the Sabres, it was time for a change.
Both Briere and Chris Drury were named co-captains of the team and would act as such from 2005 until 2007, when both left the Sabres. But before that, Briere would have 58- and 95-point seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07. The 95-point campaign has been the best of his career to date, with a career-high 63 assists.
Overall, his time with the Sabres saw him rack up 317 points in 306 games (regular season and playoffs combined).
Briere, of course, infamously left Buffalo on July 2, 2007, signing an eight-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers; Drury, the other co-captain, signed with the New York Rangers one day earlier.
Briere would spend the next six seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers. He also saw three games of action with their AHL club at the time, the Philadelphia Phantoms, in the 2008-09 season, and played with the Berlin Polar Bears of the DEL in the lockout of 2012-13.
July 2013 rolled around and it was time for another change for Briere. The former Sabres centerman signed a two-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens, taking him as close to home as he possibly could be. He played 69 regular season games with the Habs, notching 13 goals and 12 assists. He also had seven points in 16 playoff games with Montreal before being recently traded to the Colorado Avalanche on June 30 in exchange for Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau and a 2015 5th-round pick.
Now, as October grows closer, Briere will take his skills out west again for another shot in the Western Conference. How will he fare with the Avalanche?
Other players to wear number 48 for the Sabres: Brad May (who also wore #27)