By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 47 – September 29, 1997The Sabres trade Pat LaFontaine to the New York Rangers in exchange for a second-round draft choice in 1998 (Andrew Peters) and future considerations.

Pat LaFontaine and the Sabres took to each other quickly when he arrived in town in 1991. It seemed like he would live happily ever after here after some spectacular seasons here. However, injuries got in the way.

LaFontaine started to have concussion-related problems in October 1996 after a collision in a game with Pittsburgh. He missed almost all of that season. The following fall, LaFontaine pronounced himself ready to return, but the Sabres were not willing to clear him for play after reading some medical reports. The two sides reached an impasse, and a trade was the only solution.

The Rangers had an opening at center after the departure of Mark Messier to Vancouver as a free agent, so they gave up a second-round pick to acquire the Sabre. Then in March, 1998, LaFontaine suffered yet another concussion, and this one ended his career. He later came back to the Sabres for a brief time as an executive. LaFontaine eventually was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

(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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