It's time to put the finishing touches on the 2008-2009 season for the Buffalo Sabres. Here is a complete report card of every single player that played a significant amount of time with the Sabres this season. Thanks to Japers Rink and Mile High Hockey for the inspiration.
#28 / Center / Buffalo Sabres
Feb 03, 1982
|2008 - Paul Gaustad||62||12||17||29||4||108||3||1||1||0||122||9.8|
Key Stat: At 6'5" Gaustad is known as one of the Sabres few physically imposing forces. The stats back him up as a physical force on the team. He was second on the team with 141 hits.
Gaustad is also the guy that Lindy Ruff looks too when he needs to win an important face-off. We have heard stories about how Gaustad would ask Chris Drury for advice on every aspect of the game. He was definitely listening to Drury when he taught him about face-offs. Gaustad led the Sabres with a 52.7% face-off percentage.
Interesting stat: Gaustad had a total of six fights this season. He finished with a 2-0-4 record according to hockeyfights.com. His two wins came against Ryan Craig (Tampa Bay) and Pavel Kubina (Toronto).
Fun Fact: Gaustad was drafted in the seventh round of the 2000 entry draft. He is the only player the Sabres selected that season that has made it in the NHL. The Sabres top two picks in 2000 Artem Kryukov (1st round - #15 overall) and Gerald Dicaire (2nd round - #48 overall) headed up a group of players that never played a game in the NHL. Sean McMorrow was the only other Sabres pick that season to play a NHL game...he played one game in the 2002-2003 season.
Line Combos: (Limited to top 5 for space purposes)
- Jochen Hecht - Jason Pominville (371 shifts - 2 points)
- Patrick Kaleta - Daniel Paille (264 shifts - 1 point)
- Ales Kotalik - Daniel Paille (228 shifts - 0 points)
- Patrick Kaleta - Clarke MacArthur (221 shifts - 2 points)
- Adam Mair - Daniel Paille (144 shifts - 2 points)
Report: You always know exactly what you are going to get with Goose. He brings energy to every single shift and will never be accused of taking a shift off. He has become fan favorite because of his high energy attitude both on and off the ice. Many players have spoken highly of Goose's leadership qualities including Sabres Captain Craig Rivet.
He remains a third or fourth line player and will never be anything more. He is responsible in his own end and he chipped in a career high 12 goals this season. As he matures even more as a player he could become a future captain of this squad.
2008-2009 Salary: $1,700,000
2009-2010 Status: Signed for $2,500,000
Vote: It's time to grade Gaustad for his play in the 2008-2009 season. Every player has expectations so vote based on those expectations. If a player played to their potential they should receive a "C" if they exceeded expectations they would receive a "B" or an "A".
Discuss: Were you surprised that Goose scored 12 goals this season? Do you think that he deserves to be paid $2.5 million as a role player? Do you think he will become the Captain when Rivet leaves?
Up Next: Jochen Hecht