Position: Left Wing

Born: August 15, 1969

Birthplace: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Height: 6'0"  Weight: 202 lbs.

Shoots: Left

Drafted by the Hartford Whalers, 5th Round, 94th
     Overall, 1989 NHL Entry Draft

Season with Buffalo: 1993-94

Uniform Number: 40

Games Played:
Penalty Minutes:
Sabre Totals

James Black is a very marginal character in Sabres history, having played only two games in the Blue and Gold in his one season with the franchise.  A third or fourth line winger with some speed, Black enjoyed a few solid years in Chicago and Washington after leaving the Sabres organization in 1994.

After an impressive junior career with the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League, Black entered the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.  Taken in the 5th Round, 94th overall, by the Hartford Whalers, Black was assigned to Hartford's minor league franchise, the Binghamton Whalers of the American Hockey League for the 1989-90 season.  He played virtually the entire season with Binghamton, scoring a team-leading 37 goals and 75 points.  His impressive rookie year earned him a one-game call-up to Hartford late in the season. 

The following season, Hartford changed it's minor league affiliation from Binghamton to the
James Black as a member of the Washington Capitals.
Springfield Indians of the AHL, and Black was reassigned there.  In 1990-91, Black was tied for the team lead in points, scoring 35 goals and 61 assists.  In 1991-92, Black split the season between Springfield and Hartford, playing 30 games for Hartford, with 4 goals and 6 assists.  A star player at the AHL level, Black was unable to carry over that success to the NHL.  

In 1992, the Whalers traded Black to the Minnesota North Stars.  Again Black spent the majority of the season in the minors, playing 63 games for the Kalamazoo Wings of the International Hockey League.  Black played 10 games for Minnesota in the 1992-93 season, adding 2 more goals to his career totals.

In 1993, the North Stars moved south, and became the Dallas Stars.  Black made the Dallas lineup in training camp, but played only 13 games for the Stars before being traded again.  On December 15, 1993, Black was traded to the Buffalo Sabres along with a 7th Round pick in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft (that the Sabres used to select Steve Webb), for defenseman
Gord Donnelly.  Following the trade, Black was assigned to Buffalo's AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.  Black played 45 games for Rochester in the 1993-94 season, scoring 19 goals and 32 assists.  Black was recalled to Buffalo on January 15, 1994 in place of the injured Craig Simpson.  He made Sabres debut that night against the St. Louis Blues, and played the following night against his former team, the Dallas Stars.  Held scoreless with just two shots on net in his two appearances, Black was returned to Rochester on January 19, where he remained for the rest of the season.

A free agent at the end of the 1993-94 season, Black landed with the Las Vegas Thunder of the IHL, where he spent the 1994-95 season.  Back in the minors, Black flourished once again, scoring 29 goals, 4th highest on the team.  His 44 assists was good for 3rd on the team and his 73 total points was 4th highest.   

Black's solid performance with Las Vegas gave him a second chance at the NHL, this time with the Chicago Blackhawks, where he signed for the 1995-96 season.  He played the majority of the season with the Indianapolis Ice of the IHL, scoring 32 goals and 50 assists in just 67 games, and was among that team's leaders in goals, assists and points.  He played just 13 games in Chicago, but made a solid impression in his limited playing time there.  For the 1996-97 season, Black was promoted to the Blackhawks, where he played his first full NHL season.  Black saw action in 64 games for Chicago during 1996-97, chipping in 12 goals and 11 assists, and developing into a solid third line center.  Black returned to Chicago for the 1997-98 season, playing in 52 games, with a slightly less impressive 10 goals and 5 assists.

During the off-season of 1988, Black was traded to the Washington Capitals.  Black turned in his most successful season in the NHL during the 1998-99 season, scoring 16 goals and taking a regular shift on the Capitals' checking line. Injuries began to take their toll on Black during 1999-2000, limiting him to 49 games played.  A leg injury hampered him throughout much of the 2000-01 season, again limiting his playing time and his production.  In just 42 games with the Capitals during the season, Balck mustered just one goal and 5 assists.

Following the 2000-01 season, James Black was released by the Washington Capitals.  Unsigned by an NHL team, he signed as a free agent with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League for the 2001-02 season.  Black finished the season with 6 goals and 10 assists in 29 games played for Grand Rapids.
Complete career stats for James Black from
The Internet Hockey Database