By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
No. 13: February 2, 1993 – The Sabres trade Dave Andreychuk, Daren Puppa, and a first-round draft choice in 1993 (Kenny Jonsson) to Toronto for Grant Fuhr and a fifth-round draft choice in 1995 (Kevin Popp).
Sabres coach John Muckler just didn’t trust his goaltending during the 1992-93 season. Daren Puppa, Dominik Hasek and Tom Draper all had goals-against averages above 3.00, and Muckler wanted someone who could win a playoff series in April. By coincidence, there was a back-up goalie up the road in Toronto who had won a lot of games for Muckler when the two were together in Edmonton. Grant Fuhr played behind Felix Potvin for the Maple Leafs.
Muckler got his way, sending Dave Andreychuk, Puppa and a first-round pick to the Leafs. That was in spite of two other factors in the transaction. One, the Sabres’ coaching staff thought Hasek was about ready to blossom into a top-notch goalie. Two, an expansion draft was coming up in the summer, and the Leafs probably would have lost Fuhr to a new team then. Buffalo probably didn’t need to give up so much at the time.
Fuhr did the job for Muckler that spring, helping the Sabres to a playoff sweep of the Bruins. It was Buffalo’s first postseason series win in 10 years. That certainly was important to a franchise that had been stuck in neutral for years. The next season, Fuhr made the “mistake” of getting hurt – and Hasek played superbly as a replacement. Fuhr never did get his starting job back. Meanwhile, Andreychuk went on to become a Hall of Famer, Puppa was a solid NHL goalie, and first pick Kenny Jonsson played 10 years in the NHL. It turned out to be a one-sided deal in favor of the Leafs.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)