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.
Yesterday, we discussed jersey number 58. Today, we skip ahead to number 60, as #59 has never been worn by any player in Sabres history.
Jersey number 60 has been worn by just one player in Sabres history: center Paul Gaustad. Once Gaustad really joined the Sabres in 2005, he adopted jersey number 28. But for his first NHL game in the 2002-03 season, he wore – you guessed it – number 60.
Gaustad, now 32, was drafted by the Sabres with the 220th overall pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
The Fargo, North Dakota native was playing with the WHL’s Portland Winter Hawks at the time and would play two more seasons there before making the jump to the Sabres organization.
Gaustad began his career with the Sabres organization in Rochester, suiting up for 80 games with the Amerks in the 2002-03 season. He had 53 points and 137 penalty minutes in 80 regular season games. That year also saw Gaustad suit up in his first NHL game, a March 23rd competition against the Colorado Avalanche. He played 5:48 ice time, had nine shifts and went 42.9 percent in the faceoff circle.
Gaustad would spend the entirety of the next two seasons – including the NHL lockout year – in Rochester. He put up 31 and 43-point campaigns, respectively, and had a total of 361 penalty minutes over the two seasons.
It was in 2005 that Gaustad would really make the jump to Buffalo, and he’d stay with the Sabres for the next seven seasons. Over his time in Buffalo, Gaustad would become the team’s top center and would be near the top league-wide in faceoff wins. All in all, he played 517 games with the Sabres, notching 189 points and 622 penalty minutes in that time. He also appeared in 262 games with the Amerks, racking up 151 points and 548 penalty minutes.
In 2011, he was traded to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a first-round draft pick, and he’s been there ever since. This past season, Gaustad had 21 points and 61 penalty minutes in 75 games with the Preds.
Just two days remain in our “Who Wore It” series as the month of August winds down. Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at number 61, while Sunday, we’ll skip ahead to #63.
Other players to wear jersey #60 for the Sabres: None.