This year’s Stanley Cup Final features two former Sabres.
Well, kind of. One of these guys barely sweat into his jersey enough to justify a game-worn jersey auction on Ebay – but dangit, this is the Pegula Era, which boasts the mantra “Once a Sabre, always a Sabre” (or something like that). So with that trumpeted promise held close to our hearts, we can now look hopefully towards the future, when one of these two former heroes of the Blue and Gold may return to Buffalo for Alumni Day.
"You just got served a piece of PAILLE!" was always fun to shout at the bar when this guy scored. Maybe it was all the more fun because it so rarely happened.
Ah, Danny Paille – the 20 goal scorer that never was – but came oh so close. In the 2007-08 campaign, Paille managed to pile up 19 goals. He then confidently sped into full reverse, scoring 12 in ’08-’09, 10 in ’09-’10, and 6 in ’10-’11.
He was traded to the Bruins in the ’09-’10 season, after managing to score zero goals in just two games played with Buffalo. In return, the Sabres received a 3rd round pick for Paille’s prowess, a pick that turned into Kevin Sundher in the 2010 draft.
Paille, often scratched from the lineup for the Bruins, has managed to have some impact in the playoffs, having tallied 2 goals and 2 assists. He was given a team-low 6 shifts in Boston’s Game Seven against Tampa, for a lowly 5:14 off the bench.
Meanwhile, Sundher is currently listed as the 10th best prospect for Buffalo on SabresProspects.com. Soooo, thanks for that, Danny, and good luck in the Cup Finals (getting ice time).
We considered a shot of Raffi in action, but somehow an off-ice photo seemed far more appropriate.
Ah, Raffi Torres – you are gone, but not forgotten. Mainly because you skipped town only at the end of last season, after burning up this town as one of the most heralded free agent signings of the 2010 deadline. Unfortunately you failed to burn anything up during your tenure here, failing to score a single goal in 14 games. Sorry Raffi, but 5 assists and a -3 rating was an astounding failure on your part.
What makes Torres’ place in the annals of Sabres history even more appalling is that we had to give up Nathan Paestch and a 3rd round pick (Petr Straka) to acquire him from Columbus. Sure, Paeassttchstch and a 3rd (Straka) may not seem like a lot to give up, but it sure is when you give those things away for a whole lotta’ nothing. Plus, how many parents in Buffalo got tired of explaining that Torres was not THIS Raffi?
Torres was signed as an UFA after the 2009-10 season by the Vancouver Canucks (lucky [expletive]). He has since relished his role in the bottom six of that monster of a team, recording 14 goals and 15 assists in the regular season, and curiously matching Paille’s playoff stats of 2 goals and 2 assists through the playoffs.
So there you have it, folks. Our two departed heroes for this season. One of them is going to win the Stanley Cup without us, and one or both of them may someday return to the Queen City for a free room and board spree on Terry Pegula’s
Wallet Alumni Day. I am setting my autograph book aside for that one.
Until then, we can all enjoy watching one of these guys winning the Cup from afar.
*Editors Note: we considered including a poll here, so folks could vote which of these two Sabres fans should be rooting for. But seriously, between these two, what’s the point?
The Next Ones.
WHEN: June 24th – 25th
WHERE: The Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota
BAR TRIVIA: This marks the first time the draft has been in Minnesota since the North Stars hosted the draft in 1989. The Sabres have selected defensemen with their first pick in 4 of the last 5 drafts: Dennis Persson (2006 24th overall), TJ Brennan (2007 31st overall – 2nd round), Tyler Myers (2008 12th overall), and Mark Pysyk (2010 23rd overall).
What if NHL team namesakes actually played each other? By this I mean the representative logos or team names. For instance, could a coyote defeat a Bruin? How about a hurricane versus a devil? What the hell is a flyer and how would would it fare? We thought it might be fun to do hypothetical playoff NCAA bracket-style tournament to determine the overall winner of such a contest. What say you?
All it takes is your vote, and perhaps comments on how a match might go down.
Since the NHL has 30 teams that means 15 matchups, which is uneven for an East vs. West breakdown. So we seeded teams by their 2010-2011 regular season record with the bottom 2 teams playing each other. The winner of this “toilet bowl” goes on to their respective conference.
It’s time for someone to punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals.
And it’s time for fans to get their dabbers out, as Sabres BINGO! returns for Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. It sure sucks that the Sabres are out of it, but we can all at least have fun at Claude Julien’s chins’ expense.
Or is it “Claude Julien Chins’?” Nevermind.
As always, click on the pic for a full size picture. Oh, and keep an eye out for a special Scarface reference!
Quite possibly the most impossible to win BINGO! card yet.
A lot of Sabres fans would love to poach RFA Shea Weber from the Nashville Predators.
Let’s face it: any offer sheet tendered towards Weber would be immediately matched by Nashville. Still, due to this year’s relatively weak UFA class, NHL GM’s may very well make more RFA offers than expected.
Here’s a look at what it will cost to yank an RFA off another team’s roster this season (via The Sporting News):
An offer with a $1,034,249 annual cap hit or less: No compensation
More than $1,034,249 — $1,567,043: Third-round pick
More than $1,567,043 — $3,134,088: Second-round pick
More than $3,134,088 — $4,701,131: First and third-round pick
More than $4,701,131 — $6,268,175: First, second and third-round pick
More than $6,268,175 — $7,835,219: Two first-round picks, a second and third
More than $7,835,219 and higher: Four first-round picks
Still interested in Weber? I didn’t think so. How about Zach Parise instead?
Should be an interesting July 1st.