Paul Gaustad was the second and last trade pickup made this past Monday at the Trade Deadline between the Nashville Predators and Buffalo Sabres. Like the Andrei Kostitsyn trade move, Predators fans were blind-sided by the trade for the Center for a first round pick (the Sabres also gave the Predators a fourth round in the trade).
Paul Gaustad was born on February 3, 1982 in Fargo, North Dakota and was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2000 NHL Draft, 7th Round (220th overall). Add another tall one to the Predators roster, Gaustad stands at 6’5″, the same height as goalie, Pekka Rinne.
Gaustad began his hockey career in the WHL under the Portland Winter Hawks and notched three seasons with the minor league of the Canadian Hockey League. Gaustad began playing under the AHL team for the Buffalo Sabres in 2002-03 and made his way to the Sabres in 2005.
The forward/enforcer had a close call on February 7, 2007 when a collision with Ottawa Senator, Dany Heatley almost ended his career. Gaustad’s tendon was sliced by Heatley’s skate and, if it had been an inch deeper, Paul’s career would have been shot right then and there. Fortunately for Gaustad, his season was ended by the accident, but his career would remain intact.
After a productive 2007-08 season, the Buffalo Sabres re-signed Gaustad to a 4-year extension worth $9.2 million, just before becoming a free agent.
OTHER NOTABLE FACTS:
- Wore #14 while in the AHL, but had to revert to #28 due to Rene Robert having that number retired with the Sabres.
- Scored 12 goals in three consecutive seasons (2008-09 to 2010-11).
- Shares the same birthday as new Nashville Predator, Andrei Kostitsyn. Former Nashville Predator (now Montreal Canadiens) Blake Geoffrion also shares the February 3rd birthday.
- 12th American to play for the Nashville Predators this season.
Paul Gaustad was fan favorite in Buffalo and is sure to bring his popularity to Nashville. Although he, Jordin Tootoo and Anders Lindback had a heated square-off due to the Ryan Miller incident, Gaustad will fit with the rest of the Predators just fine. It was clear that Gaustad was simply standing up for his fellow teammate, which means he will do the same with his new teammates with the Predators.
Like Brian McGrattan, Paul Gaustad isn’t afraid to drop the gloves and is quite the enforcer. Along with this attribute, Gaustad’s frame makes him ideal for screening shots on goal, just like fellow giant, Hal Gill.
Paul Gaustad is expected to make his Predators debut on Saturday against the Florida Panthers and was seen practicing with the team on Thursday morning. Gaustad is coming off an upper-body injury, keeping him from playing last Tuesday alongside newcomer, Andrei Kostitsyn.
Welcome to Nashville, Paul Gaustad!
(Photo credit: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images North America)