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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Donald Audette

(Born September 23, 1969) -- It’s easy to split Donald Audette’s career in pro hockey up. There was the first time he played for Buffalo, and there was the time he played for everyone else.

The right winger was only 5-foot-8, but he had a scoring touch. Audette had 76 goals in 70 games in his last year of junior hockey. A scorer like that is always worth a look, and the Sabres took him in the ninth round of the 1989 draft.

Audette scored 42 goals in Rochester in his first year as a pro, and then moved up to the Sabres. He stayed there through 1998. He had 31 goals in 63 games in 1991-92, his first full season in Buffalo.

Audette scored 20 or more goals four more times with the Sabres. Then he was involved in a contract dispute and was traded to Los Angeles. The forward’s career was never quite the same.

Audette did have a breakout season in 2000-01, which started in Atlanta and finished in Buffalo. He also played for Dallas, Montreal and Florida before retiring. Audette recently was named a scout for the Canadiens.

--- Budd Bailey

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