At the 1998-99 trade deadline, the Sabres unloaded former top defensive prospect Mike Wilson to the Florida Panthers for former first-round pick Rhett Warrener and a fifth-round pick in the 1999 draft.
Wilson, also a former first-rounder, was acquired by Buffalo in the 1995 trade with the Vancouver Canucks that send Alexander Mogilny to the Canucks in exchange for Michael Peca, Wilson and a first-round pick that ended up being Jay McKee. He was deemed to be the next franchise defenseman for the Sabres, but things didn't work out.
After struggling with his game for four seasons in Buffalo, especially his skating and positioning, Wilson was shipped to Florida in exchange for another steady defensive presence in Warrener, with the fifth-round selection basically a throw in– at the time–for the Sabres.
Warrener played excellent hockey for the Sabres after the trade, starting in earnest with the Sabres' Stanley Cup run in 1998-99 playoffs. Warrener was a plus-12 during the playoff run, and continued to be one of the two top defenseman for the Sabres along with McKee until his eventual trade in 2003.
That could have been enough for Sabres fans as Wilson fizzled out soon after the trade, playing in one further full season with the Panthers before playing in a handful of NHL games for the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers before shipping off to Europe.
But there was that fifth-round pick.
The Sabres drafted Hobey Baker Award winner Ryan Miller out of Michigan State University with that pick. Miller's success needs little explanation, which easily makes this one of the more lopsided trades in Sabres history.
While draft picks are always hard to value because it is a possibility the Panthers would not have selected Miller, so it could be worthless to them now, the fact that Miller is a Sabre thanks to Mike Wilson is a positive memory for Sabres fans.
Also, despite what your feelings may be on Darcy Regier, it was one of the first major moves he made as the Sabres general manager, and it set a precedent for "winning" trades that lives on presently.