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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Michal Grosek

     (Born June 1, 1975) -- Mchal Grosek didn't start his career in Buffalo, but he scored a milestone goal during his time with the Sabres. Then he helped the team again, oddly enough, while leaving.

     The Czech right winger was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 1993. He was the first player from that country to ever suit up for the Jets. It was on to Buffalo in 1996, when he and Darryl Shannon came to the Sabres in a trade for Craig Muni.

     Grosek found regular duty in Buffalo through 2000. A highlight came in 1998, when the Sabres played the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs. Not only did the Sabres win in five games, but Grosek scored the series-winning goal -- overtime no less. Buffalo went on to the conference finals, and Grosek had six goals in the '98 playoffs.

     The forward was part of the Sabre team that reached the finals in 1999. However, he requested a trade the following spring. Grosek was dealt to the Blackhawks for J.P. Dumont and Doug Gilmour. Grosek recently said in hindsight that asking for trade was a mistake, while Dumont and Gilmour made contributions.

     Grosek also played for the Rangers and Bruins before landing in Europe. He became a head coach of a team in Switzerland in 2008.

-- Budd Bailey

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