By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 20: March 11, 2003The Sabres trade Chris Gratton and a fourth-round draft choice in 2004 (Liam Reddox) to Phoenix for Daniel Briere and a third-round draft choice in 2004 (Andrej Sekera).

Daniel Briere had been a pretty good player for the Coyotes in 2001-02, scoring 32 goals and 28 assists. He was close to those numbers a year later when the trading deadline approach. Still, he was 5-9 and 174 pounds, and a good big man was considered to be more valuable than a good small man.

Therefore, the Coyotes didn’t hang up when general manager Darcy Regier called to talk about a trade for Briere. The Sabres offered Chris Gratton, who hadn’t fulfilled the potential he showed as a power forward in his early 20s for Tampa Bay. When a couple of draft choices were added, the deal was completed.

Briere was a good situation right away in Buffalo, scoring 65 points in 2003-04. Then came a lockout, which wiped out the next season, but the league’s players returned in the fall of 2004 which had changed some rules in an attempt to add speed to the game. It was a perfect fit for Briere, who scored 58 points in 48 games that season. Then in 2006-07, Briere lifted his game to a career-high 95 points. It probably was the best deal ever made by Regier, and it would have been even better if the Sabres had signed the forward to a contract. But he left for Philadelphia as a free agent.

(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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