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Matthew Barnaby didn't hit Santa
Sun. Nov. 8, 1998.

Suspended Sabres forward Matthew Barnaby wants to make it clear to all the little kids out there: He didn't hit Santa Claus.

The Sabres forward was embroiled in a scuffle in Buffalo on Halloween night, just hours after taking on Kris King of the Maple Leafs twice in the Sabres' 6-3 victory.

At about 3 a.m. Sunday, Barnaby's wife Christine and a friend, who were dressed in 1960s mini-skirts for Halloween, had lewd comments directed at them by patrons of a bar, one of whom was dressed like St. Nick. One thing led to another and one of the men (not Santa, for gosh sakes) hit Christine Barnaby's friend and Matthew Barnaby jumped in.

``Santa might have been there,'' Barnaby told the Buffalo News, ``but I wasn't paying attention to what he was doing. I didn't hit Santa.''