By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
No. 78: March 11, 1999 – The Sabres trade Matthew Barnaby to Pittsburgh for Stu Barnes.
In a perfect world, Matthew Barnaby should have been a Sabre forever. He first arrived here in the 1992-93 season for a brief stop, and came up for good in 1995-96. Barnaby bonded with head coach Ted Nolan, and the winger became a pest that you loved to have on your team. Barnaby peaked in 1996-97, when he had 43 points in 68 games.
But he lost his way a bit once Nolan was gone, and his production dropped off considerably. When the Sabres had the chance to acquire Stu Barnes from Pittsburgh, Barnaby was the price tag. Buffalo paid it, and had no regrets later on.
Barnes was a solid veteran who filled a number of roles and helped the Sabres reach the 1999 NHL Finals. Barnaby turned out to be a survivor, playing 14 years for a total of seven teams. Still, his best work was done here. Barnaby definitely ranks as one of our most memorable sports characters.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)