'"I think they're dumbfounded," Ray said of his former Sabres teammates. "They couldn't believe it when I told them I had been traded. But Stu? That's nuts, and then (Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier) said he wasn't done."'
Archives for March 11, 2003
'Earlier this season he was approached by Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier about playing elsewhere.'
'Allowing Regier to oversee the self-necessitated restructuring of the Sabres is like letting John Rigas do the patchwork at Adelphia. Or Robert Wickenheiser steer the course at St. Bonaventure. It's Regier's mess. He created it. And only his departure will wash away the stigma.'
'"(The Sabres) said it's there, but you don't have to take it if you don't want to," he said. "But it didn't take me very long to decide. I said, 'Yes, I'm going.' The reason you play is to win."'
Briere, Phoenix's leading goal scorer last year with 32, was fourth on the team in scoring with 17 goals and 46 points in 68 games. Ironically, Gratton is the big center the team was seeking to feed Amonte. He has scored 15 goals and has 44 points in 66 games this year.
Having the chance to compete for a Stanley Cup in 1999 and (now) going to a contender, I do not think that is an opportunity that you can refuse. Every player wants to have that chance in his career, said Ray in a conference call.
But in terms of a message, it is significant. It sends a message, a good message, to the supporters of the team and, more importantly, to the dressing room. It sends a message to potential playoff opponents.
It is a good thing, Neil said of the trade for Ray yesterday. Any time you can add toughness like that, it just makes everyone else play tougher. He adds a physical presence. When you have a couple of guys doing that, the other team is looking over their shoulder that much more. It keeps them on their heels.
Ryan was a skilled if slender forward with offensive skill. But the Stars believe they have several talented forwards in their pipeline, particularly in Europe.
In exchange for Barnes, the Stars traded minor-league prospect Mike Ryan and a second-round pick in the 2003 draft.