Archive for January, 2012:
If this was a story, the Sabres would be at a critical turning point. Could this be the darkest hour for the Sabres, when it looks like things are at their worst?
The Sabres are 7 points back in the Eastern Conference now, in the 11th spot. And just when you think the Sabres are getting healthy, they take some more hits. Vanek took a puck to the jaw requiring him to finish the Islanders game with a full cage. He should still play, but it’s scary. Regehr is likely out for the next four games and Leopold has been battling the flu. Almost as a symbol of the dark times, we also have the MSG/Time Warner cable dispute.
The calls for the Sabres to make drastic changes are getting louder and louder and from more and more sources. The hashtag #darcydosomething has become a very popular tag recently.
The Sabres front office has maintained a calm demeanor and insisted that nothing drastic should be done or will be done. Terry Pegula has reiterated that it’s all about injuries and that the Sabres can’t really even move anyone until they get back to some semblence of health. From The Buffalo News:
“What everybody is missing is that I’ve been carrying around 167 man games,” he said by telephone Thursday evening. “Forget about the season. I’m talking about the last 25 games. We’ve had 18 players go down. It’s like a merry-go-round every night. You look on the ice and what are your defensive pairs tonight? Hell, who knows? Who’s healthy?
“My attitude now is, ‘Let’s put Humpty [Dumpty] back together again,’ ” Pegula said. “I want our players to know that I thought we had a pretty good hockey team until all this happened. Let’s paste it back together and start a new season.”
This was before Friday night’s Maple Leafs game win and the loss against the New York Islanders. The team came out guns blazing against Toronto but not quite as energetic against the Islanders. As a start to a new season within a season, it’s not wholly inspiring. (Of course, blaming injuries for the losses is starting to get old for fans.)
Next on the agenda is a 5-game road trip that ends before the NHL All-Star break, kicked off by a game against the always tough Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings are 7-3 in their last 10 and looking for a record 15th consecutive home win. Not to mention the Wings are 18-2-1 against the Sabres in their last 22 games AND 10-0-1 in their last 11 games. Oy.
This 5-game road trip will be crucial to the start of the Sabres “new season” and hopes of getting back into the playoff mix. With games against the Red Wings, Chicago, Winnipeg, St. Louis and New Jersey, it won’t be a cakewalk. Each of those teams is 6th or better in their respective conference except for Winnipeg who sits at 10th in the East (just above our Sabres). The Sabres have their work cut out for them.
Will the Sabres dig themselves a hole they can’t get out of or will they get back in the race? We’ll start to find out tonight.
My apologies for the delay. Macs are great computers,but expensive when they need even the smallest thing. My plan was just to take over from where the last blog post ended, right before Corey Griswold’s question(s) that almost led to a Twitter crash ever since Beyonce announced she was pregnant.
Please enjoy! Hopefully The Buffalo News doesn’t come back on me with this post.
The gorilla in the room finally gets some attention
I know the Sabres are going through a rough patch, you know the Sabres are going through a rough patch, and don’t worry, so does Ted Black. It was a question that we were all thinking about, but finally Corey Griswold asked it. A string of questions that all came down to why are we still watching, and why should we care?
It was like the student who stood up to the teacher in a bad (or good) 80’s movie, where everyone suddenly looked from Corey to Teddy, who started off by saying the Sabres were at ” a level of frustration….duh.”
Well, at least we’re all on the same page.
While we’re all frustrated, and bombarding various social networks about our frustrations with this team, Teddy rather we take a good look at the not so bad things in the organization. For example, a year ago no one would have thought Buffalo would have gone after two of the biggest free agents on the market….not to mention a player who waived a no trade clause to come here (you’re right, that hasn’t happened before).
Having only owned/ruling the team for ten months, Mr. Black assured us that they’re about two years ahead of where they planned to be (the hot water in the girls bathroom was accomplished much sooner than planned). He said now, on July 1st, teams are calling within the first five minutes of noon time, rather than counting the tumbleweeds that blow by. Players are wanting to come here, and not only after the big teams say no.
Short of joining the line up, which Teddy did say would lead to a hat trick, Terry can’t exactly improve the success of the team itself, but we were told ” if you think Terry’s sitting there and saying ‘ I’m not doing anything else’,you haven’t been watching closely.”
He also added in that the Penguins got Crosby, Buffalo got Pegula. I’d say we win, since Terry is clear for contact.
Mike Weber and Ville Leino are giving up hockey for DJ careers
A lot of the question suggestions I had prior to attending the summit included asking about the poor music in the arena. Other than no longer caring whether or not healthy does, or does not, change everything, I’ve never noticed a problem with the music. It’s usually hard to hear over the cheering…or the booing.
Apparently, two Sabres have recently agreed with First Niagara’s lack of music quality. One of the bloggers brought up a mention about the music on Twitter, who was then put on the spot by Teddy, saying he wanted two songs from the user, and his name would be announced prior to playing them at the next home game.
However, prior to last night, we were at the brink where even the color of Lindy’s ties were ticking us off.
You don’t notice bad music in the arena when we’re winning. I know you don’t, very rarely do people actually WANT to sing Sweet Caroline
The beer tends to taste better,too.
Locker Room Tour
When Teddy first arrived, he had mentioned that if we ended in enough time, they would have taken us around the new Sabres locker room. I almost just lined up in the back of the room for that moment. All those fancy renovations, who cares if we were in a losing streak?
As far as pictures go, I did the best I could with a cell phone, limited standing around and ogling time, and others wandering about.
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Teddy’s Final Thoughts
Teddy was happy to share in his appreciation for the blogging world, and mentioned how other teams should embrace those who spend hours with websites dedicated to one thing, and who ” share the passion.” Just the same, we are grateful that someone acknowledges the work we do.
Journalists are totally jealous.
All bloggers that attended were also treated to pizza and beer, and invited to stay,even though the man of the hour had to leave. However, before leaving, he did leave us all with words of encouragement, and the perfect way to end the blog post:
” We’re going to win the Stanley Cup, or die trying.”
I would like to start off by saying that I am beyond impressed by the consideration and involvement of Ted Black. Same with Terry Pegula, while the hockey aspect may be rocky, the organization itself has had such changes in the past ten months than the 40 years prior to it.
Very few fans can even name their teams president, let alone sit down with twenty bloggers and let them ask him anything that has to come to mind regarding the team. When Teddy arrived, he shook every single persons hand and referred to them by their name. Throughout the summit, he took notes regarding suggestions that anyone had mentioned, and assured us that any and all concerns were going to be resolved, or at least reviewed further.
Now with my praising out of the way, on to the other highlights from the Bloggers Sumitt
Ted Black is aware that Time Warner Cable does not carry MSG
Naturally, this was the first question that came up, after the brief awkward moment of silence in which no one wanted to be the first person to ask a question, and Ted had apologized for canceling the first summit date for a family issue.
The question was in regards to why Buffalo can’t have their own sports network. In addition to the Sabres having a contact with MSG, Mr. Black also explained the other factors for why this isn’t an immediate possibility. Since hockey is the only professional sport in Buffalo that can be aired locally (the NFL cannot), there would not be enough support for a local sports channel strictly for the Sabres
MSG and the Sabres signed a ten year contract in 2006, so we’re a bit of ways away from any change there. However, there was talk about expanding viewing parties, and hopes that the TWC and MSG will resolve the matter shortly.
Teddy is also now aware that there are pirated internet feeds of hockey games, and that is why we’ve made it to day 11 since the black out
Big Changes (Likely) Coming to the Queen City
There were a couple of questions in regards to the Terry and Teddy duo taking on renovations around the city, including the water front since its merely across the street. I was kind of expecting a response along the lines of a puzzled look, but Teddy seemed very interest in contributing to the water front changes, whenever that’s actually going to happen.
There was even mention of a sports restaurant coming about (think Hockey Town in Detroit), and mentions of a ‘ plan’ of expanding the Harbour Club, and doing something with the Aerospace Museum that’s attached to the arena (it’s okay if you forget about that, we all do).
Teddy outright said he had a plan, that should be enough hope right there.
There are also plans to bring the NHL draft and the All Star game to Buffalo. Also, the Frozen Four, and other hockey related events.
Oh, and Buffalo being back in the line up to play in the Winter Classic again.
A fellow blogger had asked about why there isn’t more media coverage about events relating to the Sabres alumni, which sparked a conversation about how very involved former Sabres are with the organization. According to Mike Gilbert, the Vice President of Public and Community relations for the Sabres, we have the strongest alumni relations than any other team in the NHL.
There had apparently been a meeting yesterday morning with Sabres alumni about more ways to interact with the team, other than the many of them who attend games regularly. It’s no secret that since Terry bought the team last year, that more alumni, such as the members of the French Connection, wanted to become more involved with the team.
It was also said, after brief hesitation, that Dave Andreychuk would be making a visit next month, and Brad May in March (someone please tell me I wasn’t the only one thinking ‘ I hope we make the playoffs so he can come in May, too).
Teddy commented that Buffalo is ” on it’s way up” and he no longer wanted to see companies and plans being abandoned in the city any longer.
A string of questions came about regarding the Rochester Amerks now returning as the Sabres affiliate, and it was immediately said how it’s ‘ less awkward’ to try and do Sabres and Amerks related things now that both teams are under the same organization.
One of the ideas was to have the Sabres play a game in Rochester, as they did back in 2003 (along with the Amerks playing in Buffalo). The latter is likely to be a possibility, but Teddy said a regular season game in Rochester is impossible, since the Sabres season ticket holders alone would not fit into Blue Cross Arena. However, a pre-season game is possible in the upcoming years.
Also, the only question I had gotten in was in regards to Blue Cross Arena getting a face lift. It’s an old, and very nice arena, but the place can use some sprucing up. I thought maybe since Terry was now caring about the teams he’d own, it wouldn’t hurt to mention. Apparently, Terry owns a lot of things, but not BCA.
They got a renovated scoreboard, but that’ll have to do for now.
Lindy ain’t going nowhere…but there is no extension
I was new to the rumor about Lindy signing an extension, it was a suggestion for my list of questions, but someone else beat me to it. Teddy danced around the question for a few minutes, saying how he was a business man and business men don’t comment on those kind of manners.
But, then he said if he said no comment, we would all assume it was true (which is true).
Then he said it wasn’t true. No extension for Lindy, unless that was the trick all along.
Coming soon (likely later tonight) the conclusion from all the Blogger Summit excitement, including the locker room tour, and Corey Griswold being ‘ that guy.’
Brian Burke is a class act.
When asked about Dion Phaneuf being voted as the most over-hyped player in the NHL by a hundred or so of his NHL peers, Burke replied by saying that those who voted so should “defecate in their chapeaus.” Yep, not only brought back an old WWII insult, not only did he change [expletive] to “defecate,” but he even changed “hat” to “chapeau.”
This guy is a drinker of fine whine.
Indeed, in the days of “suck it,” “you got SERVED” and anything in the “Urban Dictionary” involving donkeys, monkeys, or giraffes, his gentleman’s way has not gone without notice here at BSN.
I say, “hats off” to you, Burkie! You’ve earned yourself an honorable BINGO board. And I apologize in advance for tailgating you on your way back up the QEW tonight – I just gotta’ know what you might come up with next.
Get your dabbers ready, folks: our winner receives a goal by Drew Stafford! (Please note this may take 1-2 weeks for delivery.)
(As usual, click to up-size, and click again to up-size again.)
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I’m finding it very hard to write about the Sabres lately. It’s hard for a blogger to get pumped about things and all you want to do is just type, “they suck” and be done with it. But I need to break out of my slump as much as the Sabres do theirs, so I’m forging on.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. When Pegula rode in to town on his majestic Pegasus (Pegulasus?) and waved around his magic cash wand, the Sabres were supposed to take the league by storm. It was an amazing “what the hell is happening!?” time when the Sabres were actually spending big-name free agents like Regehr and Ehrhoff. “So no Richards” then happened and the Sabres missed out on a top-line center. That was ok, as the Sabres added Ville Leino, a guy somewhat mysterious but it sounded like he had a lot of potential. And of course millions of little things were done around the arena and millions of dollars were spent on the improvements.
Maybe we'd do better if we renamed the team the Pegasuses? (Or is it Pegasii?) This is dumb, but I needed two pictures on this post. It's a personal quota thing.
But I should spare you the history lesson. You’re a Sabres fan (most likely) if you’re reading this site and you know all too well that things haven’t gone according to plan.
We can blame injuries, the coaching staff, the new additions or the old core. But it doesn’t matter. We just want the team to do well. Dammit, Pegula said we would win the Cup, so where is the team that will bring it to us?
I’m sick of being Mr. Positive. All year I’ve said to be patient, to hang in there and we’ll get through these injuries. “Let’s not do anything drastic here, let’s stay the course and let the ship right itself”, I said. I was probably one of the last holdouts on the positive train. After this long, I’m now convinced that it can’t right itself.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I do have faith in one thing: the ownership. Ted Black and Terry Pegula are at least willing to do whatever is in their power to have a winner here. At least we have that going for us, and that’s more than some other teams can say.
Another thing; we have a lot of pieces in place, a lot of players that are worth something. Maybe we don’t have the right mix but I don’t think we’re that far off. Maybe the answer is a new coach, maybe it’s trading Miller, Roy, Stafford or someone(s) else.
Something has to change and something will change. I’m not too down because I know change is right around the corner. This may only be the prologue in the Pegula era, with the third act finally bringing home the Cup, but for right now it plain sucks.
Oh yeah, before I forget… #DoSomethingDarcy