Oct. 25, 1991 -- The Buffalo Sabres wanted to crank up their offense and generate interest in the fall of 1991. They were trying to convince civic leaders that the area still had plenty of enthusiasm for its hockey team in order to get funding for a new arena. So they acquired one of the most exciting players in team history.
Pat LaFontaine came to Buffalo in a trade that was one of the two biggest in team history (The Schoenfeld/Gare deal with Detroit in 1981 might be bigger.) Here's the way Bob DiCesare reported the LaFontaine deal for The News:
High-scoring Pat LaFontaine became a Buffalo Sabre today in a seven-player blockbuster deal that ranks as one of the most significant trades in National Hockey League history.
The Sabres acquired LaFontaine from the Islanders along with left wing Randy Wood, defenseman Randy Hillier and an undisclosed draft choice. Sent from the Sabres to the Islanders were center Pierre Turgeon, defenseman Uwe Krupp, and wingers Benoit Hogue and Dave McLlwain.Sabres General Manager said this morning that he hoped all three newly acquired players would be in the lineup for tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks in Memorial Auditorium.
-- Budd Bailey