By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

Jaroslav Spacek – Signed by the Sabres in 2006

The Sabres needed a little help on defense in the summer of 2006. They had lost Jay McKee to free agency, and went searching for a replacement. Buffalo found one on the free agent market.

Jaroslav Spacek had some serious traveling since he was drafted by Florida in the fifth round in 1998. Spacek was already 24 at that point, and he jumped right into the Panthers lineup. The defenseman stayed there before heading to Chicago, Columbus and Edmonton. He was a part of the Oilers team that reached the Stanley Cup finals in 2006, and the Sabres must have noticed him.

Spacek agreed to a three-year deal in Buffalo, and played well in his three seasons here. His point production went up each year before peaking at 45 in 2008-09. Spacek was 35 by the time the summer of 2009 rolls around, and general manager Darcy Regier wasn’t interested in a long-term contract. The Canadiens disagreed, giving Spacek a three-year deal worth $11.5 million. The veteran finished out his successful career in 2012 with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Here’s a good memory of his time here:

(Follow Budd on Twitter at @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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