By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page

Dave Andreychuk – Signed by the Sabres in 2000

The Sabres sensed that their window of opportunity was closing in 2000. They had a nice run in the late 1990s, reaching the conference finals twice and the Stanley Cup finals. Some of their players, like Doug Gilmour and Dominik Hasek, were both at least 36 years old. Perhaps a free agent could help.

Dave Andreychuk was ready to volunteer for the assignment. He had finished up the 1999-00 season with Colorado. The left winger had done his best work in Toronto with Gilmour as his center. He also had some family reasons for getting back to the Buffalo area. The former first-round pick of the Sabres (1982) signed a one-year deal.

The reunion had mixed results. Andreychuk scored 20 goals for the season, which ranked third on the team behind Miroslav Satan and J.P. Dumont. But sometimes he had trouble getting playing time, perhaps because Gilmour was frequently injured that season. Buffalo lost to the Penguins in the playoffs, Hasek and Gilmour left town in the summer of 2001, and Andreychuk departed too. The big left winger landed in Tampa Bay, where he helped the Lightning win a Stanley Cup. Eventually, Andreychuk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Let’s take a look back:

(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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