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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Stu Barnes

(Born December 25, 1970) -- Stu Barnes moved around quite a bit during a long, distinguished career in the National Hockey League. One of those moves carried a bit of irony with it.

Barnes had 141 points in 70 games for the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League. That got the attention of the Winnipeg Jets, who took him fourth overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. Barnes was even better the next year in junior hockey (144 points) before turning pro.

The forward spent a few years splitting his time between the minors and the NHL. Then he was off to the Panthers in a trade involving Randy Gilhen. He was a Panther through 1996, when he was dealt to Pittsburgh.

The Penguins kept him until 1999, and Barnes had his best season to date along the way (30 goals in 1997-98). When the Sabres offered Matthew Barnaby for Barnes, Pittsburgh took it - and the Sabres had a smart veteran forward who did a lot of things well here. He was even a captain of the team for a while.

Barnes was shipped to Dallas in 2003 as part of a small housecleaning. He had been on the Sabre team that lost to the Stars in the 1999 Stanley Cup finals, and wasn’t thrilled about leaving. Barnes played in Dallas until 2008, and now serves as a part-owner of that Tri-City team based in Kennewick, Wash.

--- Budd Bailey

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