By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
No. 44: November 12, 1988 – The Sabres trade Tom Barrasso and a third-round draft choice in 1990 (Joe Dziedzic) to Pittsburgh for Doug Bodger and Darrin Shannon.
There’s a saying in football that if you have two starting quarterbacks, you have no starting quarterbacks. The same is true for hockey goaltenders. It’s usually good to have a clear No. 1 to play the majority of the games.
Such was the case for the Buffalo Sabres in 1988-89. They had Tom Barrasso, who in 1983-84 was the best 18-year-old goalie in hockey history. He won the Vezina and Calder Trophies that season, and looked to be a fixture for years to come. But Barrasso had some ups and downs in those years, and Daren Puppa was a promising newcomer at that position. General manager Gerry Meehan had another problem in 1988 – Barrasso and Puppa reportedly couldn’t stand each other.
Someone had to go, and Meehan traded Barrasso for Doug Bodger and Darrin Shannon. Barrasso regained some consistency in Pittsburgh, and helped the Penguins win two Stanley Cups. He still has a chance to be a Hall of Famer someday. Puppa had a 15-year career of his own, departing Buffalo in 1993. Bodger was a good defenseman for several years with the Sabres, while Shannon’s career didn’t work out as planned.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)