Burying the Hatchet
Somebody asked me yesterday if I am dreading the next Sabres season.
I get it: losing isn’t fun. Plus, we just endured a season with a lockout, arguments about the quiet crowd at the FNC, arguments about booing, and so much more weird stuff (OTT LICKED A GUY) that I don’t have the time or the patience to list them all. I just want to forget them.
I want to move on.
In a way, we are doing that already.
Regier shipped out a heap of veterans at the trade deadline, as we unofficially entered rebuild mode. I guess we have to wait for Darcy to say the word “rebuild” to make it official, but he did say “r-word,” and that’s close enough. Oh yea and all the vets he just shipped out.
We also can’t forget the others who are no longer in Blue and Gold: Connolly. Roy. Gaustad. Hecht. Pominville. Vanek and Miller may soon join that growing list of names.
I like most of those guys. I love Vanek and Miller. But my God, the seasons since ’07 have been a Shakletonian exercise of endurance for fans.
2 points if you understand the metaphor.
You know the story. Briere and Drury left, and the remaining likeable and moderately talented core did their best to manage slow starts, 10 game losing streaks, epic meltdowns against the Southeast Division, and heoric late season surges that ultimately lead nowhere meaningful.
I’m glad it’s over. Nice guys, like I said, but I’m glad we’re finally walking away from all those frustrating seasons. Good luck on your new teams, old core guys.
Meanwhile, Regier has said that fans may be in for some “suffering” as the Sabres work towards building through the draft to become a legitimate contender. I see what he means there: losing sucks. We’re going to lose a lot of games with the youngest team in the league.
But isn’t that better than losing a lot of games with a roster full of vets who should know how to put a good season together?
The thing is, I’m not expecting anything this time around. It’s a wonderful feeling. It’s weightless. I have no idea what the roster will look like come game one of the next regular season, but I can’t wait to see who makes the cut under Rolston’s first full watch. I can’t wait to watch Grigorenko blossom. To see Girgensons plant his feet on NHL ice and refuse to be budged. To eagerly await the arrival of Armia and his slick shot. To watch Mark Pysyk skate.
I can’t wait to see Foligno, McNabb, McCabe, Larsson, Hackett, Tropp, Catenacci, Gautheir-Leduc.
I can’t wait to see who we draft – and my goodness, if we land one of the Big Three, I might have to get myself back into the jersey buying game again.
I cannot say that the future is bright. At least not the immediate future.
But for once, I am actually looking forward to it.