The Buffalo Sabres have a long history of iconic players who have worn the team's jersey numbers. From Gilbert Perreault's iconic #11 to Dominik Hasek's #39, each of these players holds a special place in the hearts of Sabres fans. Here is a look at some of the most iconic Buffalo Sabres players who wore each jersey number.
#1 – Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller was one of the best goaltenders in the NHL during his tenure with the Buffalo Sabres. He was selected in the fifth round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft and went on to become the all-time leader in wins, shutouts, and games played for the franchise. Miller was named the team's MVP three separate times and won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender in 2010.
#11 – Gilbert Perreault
Gilbert Perreault was the first draft pick in franchise history when the Sabres selected him with the first overall pick in the 1970 NHL Entry Draft. He went on to become one of the most beloved players in Sabres history due to his outstanding offensive skill and hockey vision. Perreault was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990 and his number 11 was retired by the Sabres in 1990.
#15 – Pat LaFontaine
Pat LaFontaine was acquired by the Sabres in the 1991 trade that sent Pierre Turgeon to the New York Islanders. LaFontaine quickly became a fan favorite due to his outstanding offensive skills and leadership. He was named the Sabres captain in 1993 and won the Masterton Trophy in 1995 for his perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. LaFontaine's number 15 was retired by the Sabres in 2006.
#39 – Dominik Hasek
Dominik Hasek was acquired by the Sabres in the 1992 trade that sent Grant Fuhr to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He quickly established himself as one of the top goaltenders in the NHL and won two Hart Trophies and six Vezina Trophies during his time in Buffalo. Hasek was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 and his number 39 was retired by the Sabres in 2014.
1. Number 9: Rick Martin
Rick Martin was one of the most prolific scorers in Sabres history, scoring 384 goals and 544 assists in his 10-year career with the organization. He was a major part of the "French Connection Line," along with Rene Robert and Gilbert Perreault, that led the Sabres to the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals. Martin scored at least 40 goals in five separate seasons and was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team four times. He is widely considered one of the best players in Sabres history and his number 9 should be retired next.
2. Number 12: Gilbert Perreault
Gilbert Perreault is the Sabres' all-time leader in points (1,326) and is widely considered one of the best players in franchise history. He spent his entire 17-year career with the Sabres and was the first overall pick in the 1970 NHL Entry Draft. Perreault was a six-time All-Star and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990. He was also part of the "French Connection Line" and led the Sabres to the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals. His number 12 should definitely be retired next.
3. Number 11: Danny Gare
Danny Gare was another one of the greatest goal scorers in Sabres history, scoring 325 goals and 286 assists in his 11-year career with the organization. He was a two-time All-Star and was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team in 1978. Gare was part of the Sabres' first Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1975 and he was inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame in 1994. His number 11 should be retired next.
The Buffalo Sabres have a storied history, and with it comes the tradition of retiring jersey numbers of former players. Every fan of the Sabres has their favorite player from the past, and many of those fans would like to see their favorite player’s number retired. But what jersey number should the Sabres retire next?
Many have argued that the team should retire the number of their all-time leading scorer, Gilbert Perreault. Perreault played 17 seasons with the Sabres and is the franchise’s all-time leader in points and assists. He wore the number 11 throughout his career and many feel that it is only right to recognize his accomplishments by retiring his number.
Others argue that the Sabres should retire the number of former goaltender Dominik Hasek. Hasek, who wore the number 39 during his time with the Sabres, won two Hart Memorial Trophies, six Vezina Trophies, and one Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings during his illustrious career. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history, and his number should be retired to recognize his accomplishments.
Whatever jersey number the Sabres decide to retire next, it is sure to be a popular decision among fans. Retiring a jersey number is a way for the team to honor its past and recognize the contributions of great players. The Sabres should carefully consider their options and make the decision that will best honor the legacy of their former players.