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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Sabres-Leafs trade

    February 3, 1993 -- The Buffalo Sabres had plenty of scoring in this particular season in Pat LaFontaine, Dale Hawerchuk and Alexander Mogilny, but they didn't feel too good about their goaltending. Coach John Muckler thought help was just up the QEW.

   The Sabres sent Dave Andreychuk, Daren Puppa and a first-round pick to Toronto for goalie Grant Fuhr. It was a strange trade in part because the Leafs probably would have had to expose Fuhr to the expansion draft that summer and would have lost him for nothing. In addition, the Sabres' coaching staff thought goalie Dominik Hasek was about ready to come into his own. But there was pressure to win immediately, and Fuhr was a proven winner.

   Goaltending had been on the Sabres' mind for almost a year. Buffalo lost to Boston in Game Seven of the first-round of the playoffs in 1992, and Muckler lost his confidence in goalie Tom Draper. Buffalo had acquired Hasek over the summer, but he didn't have a track record.

   Muckler knew all about Fuhr, though. The former Edmonton goalie had five Stanley Cup rings for his fingers, and Muckler always would remain loyal to those players who had done so much for him when he was with the Oilers.

   "I couldn't say before this deal that our goaltending was the equal of the rest of the division," said General Manager Gerry Meehan. "I can say that now."

--- Budd Bailey


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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.