(Born March 31, 1965) -- Tom Barrasso had a very strange stay in Buffalo at the start of his professional career in hockey.
Barrasso was drafted out of Acton-Boxborough High School (Mass.) fifth overall by the Sabres in 1983. He was considered one of the best U.S. goalie prospects in history, and immediately justified that scouting report.
Barrasso was named the opening night starter ahead of veteran Bob Sauve. From there Barrasso went on to the greatest year by an 18-year-old goalie in NHL history. He won the Vezina Trophy and the Calder Trophy.
The young netminder had a slow start in 1984-85 and spent five games in the minors, a slight he didn't forget for quite a while. But statistically he was almost as good in his second year as in his first.
Barrasso stayed in Buffalo for a little more than three years, not reaching those heights again. The Sabres had another goaltending prospect coming along in Daren Puppa, who not only was good but reportedly was more popular among Sabre teammates. Buffalo traded Barrasso to Pittsburgh for Doug Bodger and Darrin Shannon.
The netminder helped the Penguins win Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992, and was the first American goalie to win 300 games. He played for four different teams after leaving Pittsburgh. Barrasso now serves as the goaltending coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.
--- Budd Bailey
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