By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page

No. 39: June 10, 1970The Sabres trade Tom Webster to Detroit for Roger Crozier.

The Boston Bruins had it all figured out when it came to the expansion draft of 1970. The Bruins had worked out an agreement where the Sabres would take Garnet Bailey first in the draft, and give Buffalo other assets later. Then Boston would turn around and trade Tommy Webster, a promising scorer from the minor leagues, to Detroit for Roger Crozier. The netminder had health problems, but was very good when he could step on the ice.

Sabres general manager Punch Imlach heard about the Boston-Detroit deal, and called Bruins GM Milt Schmidt with a message: The swap for Bailey was off. The Sabres then took Webster with the first pick in the expansion draft, and immediately traded him to Detroit … for Crozier. The Bruins were left with Gerry Cheevers and Ed Johnston, who had been good enough to win a Stanley Cup for them earlier in 1970.

Health problems continued to bother Crozier for the rest of his career. But when he played, Crozier was often spectacular in goal. He and a young Gil Perreault always gave fans a reason to come to Memorial Auditorium to watch the new team. Webster scored 30 goals as a Red Wing in 1970-71, but he jumped to New England of the World Hockey Association in 1972. There he became a top scorer, with five 30-goal seasons topped by 53 goals in 1972-73.

(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.

Leave a Reply