By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
No. 12: July 8, 1995 – The Sabres trade Alexander Mogilny and a fifth-round draft choice in 1995 (Todd Norman) to Vancouver for Michael Peca, Mike Wilson, and a first-round draft choice in 1995 (Jay McKee).
The Sabres had plenty of talent in 1995, but they didn’t have much of a “team” in the classic sense. It was time to blow up the roster, more or less, and what better way to do it than to trade one of its biggest stars.
Therefore, Alexander Mogilny and his considerable talents were made available. Mogilny had 47 points in 44 games in the lockout-shortened 1995 season, and set a team record in 1992-93 with 76 goals. If the Sabres acted correctly, they could receive a nice package of talent for the star forward – all the while knowing that the team that receives the best player usually comes out ahead in such transactions.
Under the circumstances, Buffalo general manager John Muckler did quite well with the trade. Michael Peca turned out to be a key piece of a young team that reversed course quickly. Mike Wilson was a regular defenseman for a while, and Jay McKee eventually stayed in Buffalo for about a decade. Mogilny scored 55 goals in his first season with the Canucks, but never hit that number for the rest of his career.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)