So, I should probably get this out of the way now.
I’m a Bluejackets fan.
Well, I’m a Sabres fan, first and foremost, forever and ever, amen. Allow me to explain. I moved to Ohio in ’98, and was only able to catch the occasional Sabres games – aside from the playoffs of course. In those days we had no Internet and I don’t think any of the local bars had the NHL package. It was a hockey wasteland.
But then an NHL team was announced in Columbus, Ohio. Intriguing, I thought. A chance to see the Sabres once in a while perhaps? Even if they were in the Western conference and that meant once a year at most.
Then I saw who they had drafted from other teams – they were many players that I liked. Sabres players, like Geoff Sanderson, Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre and Dwayne Roloson (who declined to play for the Jackets, which was probably a good career decision: he’d have been shell shocked and/or his name would’ve been mud). Even many players drafted from other NHL teams I liked, like Ron Tugnutt, Lyle Odelein, Dallas Drake and Mathieu Schneider. Come to think of it, that sadly may have been Columbus’ most talented team.
I need not remind Sabres fans of how 1999’s Stanley Cup Finals ended, even though I guess I just did. Brett Hull’s goal ripped the hearts out of Buffalo Sabres fans – just mentioning his name can cause severe emotional allergic reactions to this day. If you really want an earful about this incident, ask the nearest three-arena-beers-in guy at the HSBC (preferably one wearing one of these).
Buffalo will never get a chance to have revenge on Hull, but he at least is the inspiration behind today’s award, which goes to the player “most hated by Sabres fans, and who causes the most anger and/or sadness through their distasteful decision to continue to exist.” We’ll entertain two categories here: the “Permanently Loathed” sect and the “Reproachable Act” sect (who will be represented by players who slapped Buffalo fans around specifically in the 2010-11 season).
The “winner” of the award will receive one especially creative curse from me on HockeyJobu.com – so vote with your hearts, and a heavy dose of your spleens.
Also, due to the high volume of players in the NHL that have ruined our lives, I’ve trimmed the list down to the most infamous offenders.
Now, on with the nominations of this year’s “Dirty Brett”
reprobates candidates. (more…)
Pegula’s 3 year plan is about to get nasty.
The Buffalo Sabres have a nice crop of big, angry prospects that are nearly pro-ready. Darcy Regier’s philosophy shift from drafting small and speedy to big and nasty is about to affect the lineup in Buffalo, with guys like Zack Kassian and Marcus Foligno posturing as likely call-ups next year. Brayden McNabb just signed onto a 3 year entry level deal, and the punishing 6’4″ defenseman will be looking to join the pro ranks at the AHL level.
So how do these prospects fit into Pegula’s plan to win the Cup within 3 years?
Let’s examine the Sabres’ current depth chart:
This picture will change on July 1st, when teams go nuts trying to fill out their roster at the beginning of free agency. Darcy Regier has never been a GM to join the insanity, but with his new “Pegula Bucks,” he may actually be free to land some pretty good players this year. Until then, this is what we do know: the defensive corps is a young one, but the prospects run deep. At RW, veterans have pretty much locked up the roster for now. Center will be thin with the likely UFA departure of Rob Niedermayer and possibly Cody McCormick. At LW, well, besdies Thomas Vanek, positioning is pretty much up for grabs. Even Hecht has only one year left on his contract, and he sometimes lines up at center.
Lindy Ruff has done well juggling the lineup to keep the LW position full on gamenights, but is there help on the way? Here’s a quick look at Portland’s roster at the end of the 2010-11 season:
Players who can be considered NHL ready at the LW position include, well, actually there’s just one – Luke Adam – and he could very well line up at the faceoff dot for the Sabres. (more…)
Yeah, yeah, we could’ve gone with Adam Mair for this trophy’s name.
Mair, if you recall
anything if at all about him, was fined $2500 bucks for a 2008 tirade in Buffalo, when he tried to pummel Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators with f-bombs. In a hallway between locker rooms. That was pretty awesome, Mairsy – a tirade fit for the ages. However, in the spirit of nobody caring about Mair anymore, this award will be named after the legendary pugilist of the Blue and Gold and Bloody Red, Rob Ray.
So, sports fans, if you haven’t figured it out for yourselves yet, this contentious award goes to the Sabres member/player who unleashed the most endearing tirade/emotional meltdown during the 2010-11 season.
The winner receives my very own slightly scratched up copy of “The Razor’s Edge.” Vote responsibly!
Before we get to the nominees, let us pause to consider a little bit of the legacy behind this award. Over the years dressed in a Sabres uniform, Rob Ray became highly regarded for his
huge humanitarian efforts with WNY charities powerful influence on the Sabres bench ability to sit on the bench undaunted until the crowd got bored and started chanting “WE WANT RAY” (more…)
Someday they'll award our efforts in making these ridiculous things.
Until said captioned efforts do go rewarded, we’ll make our own summer trophies. Get your voter registration cards ready, sports fans.
Today launches the inaugural Summer Awards Ball here at Buffalo Sabres Nation – and you’re all invited. So, get into your “Tux and Pucks'” best and prepare to think hard: it’ll be up to all of you to decide who gets these things.
Winners will receive a beautifully preserved sample of Sabres’ Blue and Red cotton candy (now retired)! That’s right – the old colors, before Terry Pegula and Ted Black opened up the “Sabres Suggestion Box” and made so many millions of improvements to the overall Sabres experience that they actually changed the color of the cotton candy from blue and red to blue and yellow.
Gotta’ love those guys.
It may have congealed, a little.
Without further ado, our first award up for your egregious contemplation and debate is “The Sully.” This award goes to the member/player in the Sabres organization most enthusiastically loathed by a certain member of the Buffalo News (who just may just bear a name somewhat similar to the actual namesake of this award – the other destroyer in Buffalo – which is docked at the waterfront). I know, right? It’s just a total coincidence.
Here are your nominees for this year’s Sully (in no particular order):
- Tim Connolly. Connolly may have never have lived up to his contract extension, but there are no worries as to if he ever knew about it.
- Terry Pegula. It didn’t take long for Pegula to get raked over the coals in this one newspaper town – during an on air rant at WGR55, our certain news writer spoke so vehemently about the new ownership’s decisions that Schopp and the Bulldog were actually rendered speechless for ten seconds. (Click on the 2/28 “Part 1” feed – the 12:13 mark starts off the tirade that leads to the dead silence at 13:02.)
- Ryan Miller. Nothing like cornering an angry netminder in the locker room after a tough night – after he walks away from you. Nope, there is no escape from the wrath of the “Sabres’ Critic,” not even for the team’s all-world goaltender. Heck, there’s always time for name-calling and f-bomb dropping, even if it takes place in front of a bunch of little kids touring the facilities – it’s about staying objective, folks!
Those are your Sullied Heroes, up for your vote. Think, debate, comment, and click!
Thanks for participating!