You heard it here first (unless you follow me on Twitter, then you heard it there first).
That could be the most excellent name for a line including the Sabres newest Finns, Ville Leino and Joel Armia. Of course, the Sabres need to complete a transfer and a contract to get Armia across the pond, but he’ll be here sooner rather than later.
As we mused earlier, an addition of fellow Finn Teppo Numminen to the coaching staff could complete the trifecta, and give Lenio and Armia perhaps their best chance to succeed in Buffalo.
Get that "Armia's Army" banner ready for the 300 level.
As Regier has stated, we’re likely done in the UFA market, so we can all settle in and get ready for next season. Oh, and as for next season, I think Leino said it best as to what we are in for:
“To be honest with you I think they (Sabres) deserved to win (the playoff series). It will be a good fit for me. I think it’s going to be a good team in the future, a lot of young guys. They made some good adds, good defensemen lately. It’s a great hockey town, and I think we have a good chance to win next year. I’m really excited.”
Meanwhile, the Sabres’ additions of Regehr, Ehrhoff, Leino, and their re-sigining of Cody McCormick, puts their salary cap number at $66 million, above this year’s set limit of $64.3 million. They can remain over the cap by 10 percent% until the season opener. So maybe, we’re in for some more summer surprises through the trade market.
Darcy – well done, sir!
The search for a #1 center continues.
As the Brad Richards saga drags on, teams are beginning to set their sights on other options. One pivot, Paul Stastny, has been the subject of trade rumors since February. He’d come roughly $1 million cheaper than Richards: Stastny has a cap hit of $6.6 million per season, (under contract until 2014). Playing on a team heavy at center (and with prospect Joey Hishon making a charge towards the NHL ranks), it is actually plausible that Stastny could be had, for the right price.
It’s June 5th.
Back on June 5 of 1972, the Sabres selected Tim Horton in the intra-league draft, off the Pittsburgh Penguins roster. The rugged defender would go on to become the heart and soul of Buffalo.
But as the story goes, Horton was hesitant to sign for his last, tragic year in Buffalo.
His donut empire was growing, and at 43, he was the second oldest player in the league, (just months younger than netminder Gump Worsley). But Punch Imlach realized he needed Horton on the blueline, and offered him another one-year contract.
The deal was sealed when Imlach offered Horton a 1973 De Tomaso Pantera sports car as a bonus.
On February 20, 1974, Buffalo was visiting Toronto, hoping to steal two points and help gain enough momentum to propel the team towards a playoff spot. Horton played his typical game, despite playing with a broken jaw (the result of a deflected slapshot during the previous day’s practice). The Sabres lost 4-2, but Tim was still named the game’s third star.
“He was hurting too bad to play a regular shift in the third period,” recalled Imlach. “We faded without him and lost the game to the Leafs. After the game, he and I took a little walk up Church Street and had what was our last talk.”
“He was down in the dumps because he didn’t like to miss a shift and he felt he had cost us the game. I got on the bus with the team. Tim drove the ‘cursed’ car back to Buffalo. He didn’t make it.”
In the early morning hours of February 21st, a report came over the Ontario Provincial Police radio of a sports car moving at high speed through the Burlington area along the QEW. An officer near Vineland saw the car fly past him and tried to follow it, but he couldn’t keep up. He estimated the car was going at least 160 kmh (100 mph).
Some time around 4:30 the morning of February 21, 1974, Horton’s Pantera hit an elevated sewer grate and flipped several times, throwing him from the vehicle onto the highway near St. Catharines.
Horton was killed instantly.
After the loss, his business parter, Ron Joyce, created theTim Horton Children’s Foundation. The foundation reflects Horton’s love for children and his desire to help those less fortunate. This year the Foundation will serve close to 14,000 children from economically disadvantaged homes.
Tragedy can be ironic, confusing, and devastating. 37 years later, however, Tim Horton is still doing one of the things he always cherished – helping folks out. Next time you are at the HSBC arena, take a peek up at his #2 hanging from the rafters, and whisper a thank you.
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.
I’m already putting money aside for a red white and blue Foligno jersey.
First the Sabres and the Bandits - now the Amerks. What's next Terry - the Bills? The Statler?
Not that I want to get ahead of myself – the word that Terry Pegula was in the final stages of a negotiation process to purchase the Rochester Americans is still a rumor, but –
Jody Gage, also known as "Mr. Amerk," may be getting a very large fruit basket from Buffalo soon.
Cancel that line of thought.
From Kevin Oklobzija, from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:
“NEW at 4:14 p.m.: The Associated Press is reporting that the Sabres have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to purchase the Amerks. The AP cites an unnamed source as saying there is no out clause with the Portland Pirates, so negotiations between the American Hockey League, the Pirates and the Sabres would need to continue (yes, I believe they’ve already begun that process).”
The reason this matters (besides the decades of legacy shared between the Sabres and Americans) is that it will serve to empower Pegula – even more – as he seeks to further expand the Sabres’ fan base.
For fans, this means a quick hour and a half drive could get you to a game featuring some of these newest Sabres prospects that we are all drooling over. Heck, maybe Terry will even host a huge Amerks Alumni Day (welcome back Jody Gage)!
And hey, it looks like if Mancari re-ups, he’ll finally get out of Portland. Welcome back to Rochester, Mark!
Who’s up for a road trip?