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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Matthew Barnaby

     (Born May 4, 1973) -- Matthew Barnaby has been a lot of things since becoming a public figure. Boring has never been one of them.

     His entire hockey career has been something of a long shot. He was a fourth round draft choice of the Sabres in 1992, and went back and forth between Buffalo and Rochester for the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons.

     The forward was in the NHL for good after that; it's no coincidence that Ted Nolan took over as the Sabres coach starting then. Barnaby had his best year as a pro in 1996-97, scoring a career-high 43 points. He was a pest, the type of player that home fans and players loved and visiting fans and players hated.

     When Nolan left, Barnaby's problems started to multiply. He had five goals in 72 games in 1997-98, rebounding with seven goals in 15 playoff games. But Barnaby still hadn't found his scoring touch the following year, and was traded for Stu Barnes in one of Buffalo's best all-time transactions.

     The right winger got to see plenty of the NHL after that. He played for the Penguins, Lightning, Rangers, Avalanche, Blackhawks, and Stars. Barnaby retired in 2007.

--- Budd Bailey

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