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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Jay McKee

(Born September 8, 1977) -- You couldn’t think of two more different players in terms of style than Jay McKee and Alexander Mogilny. Yet the two players will always be linked.

When the Sabres traded Mogilny to the Canucks in 1995, they received Michael Peca, Mike Wilson and a first-round draft pick. Defensive defensemen usually don’t stand out in junior hockey, but McKee was an exception. The Sabres grabbed him with the pick.

McKee saw his first significant amount of duty with the Sabres in 1996-97, helping them win a division title. He worked his way into the lineup for good the next year, and stayed there through 2006. McKee was one of the best shotblockers in the league at one point. If he had stayed healthy in the 2006 playoffs, the Sabres might have been able to get by Carolina and win a Stanley Cup.

After that season, the Blues signed McKee to a four-year, $16 million contract with the Blues. He was hurt a lot in that time, and that hurt his effectiveness. McKee spent his final season in the NHL with the Penguins.

McKee worked as an assistant for Niagara University’s hockey team after retirement, and he was a coach for the Rochester Americans last season.

--- 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.