Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Don Edwards
Goaltender Don Edwards was a fifth round pick of the Buffalo Sabres, 135th overall in the 1975 NHL Draft. To say he was a steal would be a huge understatement. Edwards had a highly successful eleven-year NHL career that included stops in Buffalo, Calgary, and Toronto.

Edwards was a standout goalie in junior hockey with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHA. He was a workhorse, playing in 120 games over two seasons, and yet was not listed as a high draft pick by the scouting bureau. Many felt his size--or lack of it--would be a major problem in the NHL.

In his first pro season, Edwards got the nod to start in goal for 25 Sabres games in 1976-77 after spending a year honing his skills in the minors with the Hershey Bears. In 1977-78, he was tabbed the team's number one netminder and played in 72 games. In fact, from the time he was called up from Hershey, Edwards played in 50 of 53 Sabres' games and 85 of their last 91 regular season contests. What had the hockey world amazed was how Edwards seemed to save his best performances for the league's strongest teams. Buffalo did not have a losing record against any of the top teams and Edwards' goals against average facing Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, and the New York Islanders was lower that it was against the rest of the league. Worried that they were overusing their goalie, the Sabres cut his games down to 54 in 1978-79, giving more playing time to backup Bob Sauve. Edwards posted a solid 26-18-9 record. In 1979-80 he and Sauve shared the Vezina trophy, given to the team with the lowest goals against average.

Edwards remained in Buffalo for another two years, turning in excellent seasons which saw him play in 45 and 62 games, respectively. But the Buffalo management and fans were becoming frustrated at a team that never seemed to be able to get far in the playoffs after posting strong regular season results. In the off-season, the Sabres decided it was time to move in a new direction and so Edwards and Richie Dunn were sent to the Calgary Flames for draft picks.

It was a three-year stay in Calgary, but Edwards was never able to reach the same level of play that he did in Buffalo. In 1985-86, Edwards joined the Toronto Maple Leafs, his favourite team growing up as a kid. It was a 38-game experiment which ended when the Leafs bought out the remaining two years of his contract. As it turned out to be the final NHL stop for Edwards, who was finished in the league at just 31. It was a huge comedown from just a few years earlier, when he was regarded as one of the league's top goalies in Buffalo.

What many find to be incredible about Don Edwards is that he did not start playing goal in hockey until he was 13, when he was able to prove to his father that he first knew how to skate properly. At 12, he was an all-star forward for his team in Binbrook, Ontario and by the following season he was their all-star goalie.

Edwards continued to play at the semi-pro level near Hamilton, Ontario for the Brantford Mott's Clamatos of the Eastern Canadian senior hockey league until the late 1980s. His late uncle Roy was also an NHL goalie with Detroit and Pittsburgh.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP W L T SO Avg GP W L T SO Avg
1973-74 Kitchener Rangers OHA-Jr. 35 3 2.73
1974-75 Kitchener Rangers OMJHL 55 1 4.70
1975-76 Hershey Bears AHL 39 23 12 2 3 3.41 5 1 3 0 0 3.68
1976-77 Hershey Bears AHL 47 26 15 6 5 2.91
1976-77 Buffalo Sabres NHL 25 16 7 2 2 2.51 5 2 3 0 3.00
1977-78 Buffalo Sabres NHL 72 38 16 17 5 2.64 8 3 5 0 2.74
1978-79 Buffalo Sabres NHL 54 26 18 9 2 3.02
1979-80 Buffalo Sabres NHL 49 27 9 12 2 2.57 6 3 3 1 2.83
1980-81 Buffalo Sabres NHL 45 23 10 12 3 2.96 8 4 4 0 3.34
1981-82 Canada Can-Cup 1 1 0 0 0 3.00
1981-82 Buffalo Sabres NHL 62 26 23 9 0 3.51 4 1 3 0 4.49
1982-83 Calgary Flames NHL 39 16 15 6 1 4.02 5 1 2 0 5.84
1983-84 Calgary Flames NHL 41 13 19 5 0 4.09 6 2 1 0 3.32
1984-85 Calgary Flames NHL 34 11 15 2 1 4.08
1985-86 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 38 12 23 0 0 4.78
1986-87 Brantford Mott's Clamatos OHA-Sr. 17 14 1 0 0 3.42
1987-88 Nova Scotia Oilers AHL 3 0 6.00
NHL Totals 459 208 155 74 16 3.32 42 16 21 1 3.44


OMJHL First All-Star Team (1974, 1975)
AHL Second All-Star Team (1976)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1978, 1980)
Shared Vezina Trophy with Bob Sauve (1980) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1980, 1982)
Traded to Calgary by Buffalo with Richie Dunn, Buffalo's 2nd round choice (Richard Kromm) in 1982 Entry Draft and Buffalo's 1st round choice (Dan Quinn) in 1983 Entry Draft for Calgary's 1st (Paul Cyr) and 2nd (Jens Johansson) round choices in 1982 Entry Draft and Calgary's 1st (Normand Lacombe) and 2nd (John Tucker) round choices in 1983 Entry Draft, June 9, 1982. Traded to Toronto by Calgary for Toronto's 4th round choice (Tim Harris) in 1987 Entry Draft, May 29, 1985.