No. 84: October 1, 1975 – The Sabres trade Larry Carriere, a first-round draft choice in 1976 (Greg Carroll) and cash to Atlanta for Jacques Richard.
The Sabres were coming off a trip to the NHL Finals in 1975, and they thought they needed one more elite scorer to put themselves over the top. General manager Punch Imlach hoped that Atlanta’s Jacques Richard would be that player. Richard had been the second overall draft pick in 1972, but he had not lived up to his potential.
Richard was acquired for a regular defenseman, Larry Carriere, and a draft pick. But the forward never scored more than 12 goals in three years as a Sabre, and spent part of those seasons in the minors. Richard was released in 1979, making the trade a bad one for Buffalo.
The winger signed with Quebec, and became something of a one-hit wonder by scoring 52 goals in 1980-81. He never reached that level of success before or after that year, partly due to alcohol and drug problems. Richard was out of hockey by 1983, spent seven years in jail for importing cocaine from Columbia, and died in an auto accident in 2002. Carriere, one of the Sabres’ most well-liked players of the years, later returned here after retirement to work in the team’s hockey department for a while.
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