By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 53: August 1, 2017The Bandits trade Ryan Benesch and a third-round draft choice in 2018 to Colorado (Dennon Armstrong) for Callum Crawford and Alex Buque.

The Bandits had a problem in the summer of 2017. They had a huge gap at goaltender. Anthony Cosmo had indicated that he probably would retire – he made it official before training camp – and the Bandits needed a replacement in a hurry. Buffalo spotted a potential replacement in Alex Buque, a backup in Colorado who had shown some promise.

Since the Mammoth probably would have to expose Buque in the expansion draft the following year, trading him a year early made some sense. But the deal took an unexpected turn when it grew to include a couple of stars. Ryan Benesch had been one of the league’s top scorers, but was 32 and said to be part of a veteran group in Buffalo that had expressed unhappiness over the coaching staff. Then there was Callum Crawford, who was coming off the two best seasons of his career – including a 115-point campaign in 2016.

Those were the names that changed addresses in the transaction. It is worth noting that none of the three players stayed in the same place for very long. Buque was merely so-so in his year in Buffalo and was traded to New England once Matt Vinc signed with the Bandits. Crawford was the price Buffalo to obtain Shawn Evans. Then Colorado traded Benesch to Rochester earlier this year. Benesch may be on the move again when the Knighthawks begin play in Halifax.

(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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