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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: An even swap

   June 21, 1986 -- Not every trade is a blockbuster. Sometimes a team has a weakness at one position and a strength at another.

   You couldn't find two more matched players than Gilles Hamel and Scott Arniel. Hamel was a right winger who averaged about 20 goals per season during his four full seasons in Buffalo. Arniel was a left winger who had averaged about 20 goals per season during his four full seasons at Winnipeg. Arniel was 23, Hamel was 26.

   Deal or no deal? Deal.

   Arniel never scored 20 goals as a Sabre in his four years here, but he was always a useful player to have around and could fill a variety of rolls. He went back to Winnipeg in the Dale Hawerchuk trade, and he played until 1999 with a variety of minor league teams once his NHL days were over.

   Hamel had one good year with Winnipeg (27 goals), and then saw his stats fall off a cliff. He was done with hockey in 1990 after a stay in France.

--- Budd Bailey

   This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Wade Phillips, Bills coach - 1947; Darryl Shannon, Sabes defenseman, 1968; Jochen Hecht, Sabres forward - 1977.


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.