By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 80: March 10, 2000The Sabres trade Wayne Primeau, Brian Holzinger, Cory Sarich and a third-round draft choice in 2000 (Alexander Kharitonov) for Chris Gratton and a second-round draft choice in 2001 (Derek Roy).

The Sabres needed a center in the spring of 2000. They had lost Michael Peca to a shoulder injury, and were on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. Buffalo responded to that situation by trading two of their centers to Tampa Bay for another center.

Chris Gratton was a 6-4, 226-pounder who caused matchup problems whenever he was on the ice. Gratton had a couple of 62-point seasons to his credit at that point, but was inconsistent in his seven years in the league. To get him, the Sabres gave up the promising Cory Sarich and two centers in Wayne Primeau and Brian Holzinger who had become spare forwards.

The Sabres did make the playoffs that year, and Gratton stayed for three consistent if unremarkable seasons in Buffalo. Then he was traded for Daniel Briere, which worked out really well. And the second-round choice in the original deal was used to take Derek Roy, and he did just fine here too.

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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