By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
No. 80: March 10, 2000 – The 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.
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