By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
You have to do something while waiting for the deadline. Luckily, the Sabres had a handout on all of their deals made at the trading deadline over the years.
Did you know their first such deal was in 1972, when Phil Goyette went to the Rangers? Me neither.
In no particular order, here are the 10 trades at the deadline in Sabre history that jumped out at me:
1980 – Jerry Korab to Los Angeles for first-round pick (Phil Housley): This worked out pretty well for the Sabres, and Korab even returned to Buffalo later in his career.
1981: Rick Martin to Los Angeles for first-round pick (Tom Barrasso) and another pick. Martin’s knee problems finished his career early, and Barrasso had a near-Hall of Fame career.
1989: Calle Johansson and a pick to Washington for Clint Malarchuk, Grand Ledyard and a pick. The Sabres needed goaltending help badly, but it was a surprise to give up Johansson in order to get Malarchuk. Johansson even showed up at a news conference in Memorial Auditorium to talk about his reaction to the deal, which was pretty classy of him.
1995: Barrie Moore and Craig Millar to Edmonton for Miroslav Satan. As we know, Satan became one of the Sabres’ leading scorers for years. Moore and Millar – not so much.
1999: Mike Wilson to Florida for Rhett Warrener and a draft pick (Ryan Miller): Warrener was a great fit here, and helped the Sabres reach the finals. The bonus was the Miller pick, of course. Wilson only played more than 40 games once more in the NHL.
2000: Wayne Primeau, Brian Holzinger, Cory Sarich and a pick to Tampa Bay for Chris Gratton. The idea was quantity for quality. Gratton’s biggest contribution came in the next trade on the list.
2003: Chris Gratton and a pick to Phoenix for Daniel Briere. Gratton never quite lived up to his potential. Briere was a huge part of the fine Sabre teams in the mid-2000s.
2008: Brian Campbell and a pick to San Jose for Steve Bernier and a first-round pick (Tyler Ennis). Campbell was going to be a free agent, so the Sabres decided to get something for him before he left. Oh well.
2014: Ryan Miller and Steve Ott to St. Louis for Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, William Carrier, and first-round pick and a third-round pick. We had to re-do the front page of the newspaper when news of this deal came out. The end of an era isn’t usually so clearly defined.
2018: Evander Kane to San Jose for Danny O’Regan, a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick. Not a bad return for someone who had worn out his welcome here to a degree.
Quick story: I was on a bus with the Sabres on deadline day in 1995. When the team arrived in Hartford, the players started to get their room keys at the hotel. A coach told Ken Sutton, essentially, “Not so fast.” The two then went into a small area reserved for telephone calls. Sutton was then told he had been traded to Edmonton for Scott Pearson. Sutton said all the right things to me, the newspaper reporter, about the deal later, but he apparently was quite upset about it all. Sutton knew something – he played for five more teams, but was never a regular in the NHL again. Petr Svoboda was sent to Philadelphia for Garry Galley on the same day.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)