Yesterday, the Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League made a noteworthy deal, just in time for the trade deadline. They acquired former Toronto Rock goaltender Steve Dietrich in exchange for a sixth-round pick. What's so special about that? Dietrich is Buffalo's general manager, and has been since July. He traded for himself.
There's method to the madness. "Chugger" Dietrich (great lax nickname) was one of the most decorated goalies in NLL history, being elected to the hall of fame last year. He spent most of his career with Rochester and Buffalo, but last appeared in six games for Toronto before retiring in 2009. Because of that, his rights still belong to Toronto—even after he took the Buffalo GM job.
So why did Buffalo want his rights? Until Thursday, they had only two goalies, and rosters were frozen at the trade deadline. Dietrich, 43 years old, could still suit up in an emergency. But since Toronto owned his rights, he wouldn't have been able to play for Buffalo. Now he can, at the cost of a low draft pick. And it doesn't work out, he can break his release to himself gently.