It’s amazing that my rookie Drew Stafford jersey is still relevant. Then again, it might not be in a couple days.
It’s two days before the draft, and Sabres fans have no idea what their team’s roster or prospect pool will look like on Monday.
A lot can happen between now and then. We might have to say our goodbyes to Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek. That kind of sentence might have been absolutely stunning to read not so long ago, but not so much now. The Old Core has nearly been fully dismantled.
Pominville, Roy, Connolly, Gaustad, and Hecht have all been moved or have moved on. Chances are that you’ve got one of those names on a jersey tucked into the back of the closet. Chances are you might have a Vanek or Miller jersey that might have to join the growing pile of throw-back threads back there very soon.
You might own an Ennis, Hodgson, Foligno, Stafford, Myers, or a Gerbe. These might be obsolete come Monday, too.
You might have invested in a Grigorenko jersey, or had another prospect’s name sewn onto the back of your most hopeful sweater. If so, hold onto it tightly and keep hoping. No one is truly safe in a rebuild (if that’s what the Sabres are truly doing. A little more on that in a couple paragraphs).
Big changes are coming this weekend. Players may move, whether they be important/iconic, long-standing members of our community, the up-and-coming fan favs of Rochester, or those players stuck in between. We’re also going to have a bunch of brand new Sabres draftees to wonder over, and hope about.
The good news is this: whatever Darcy Regier does, it will be for the benefit of the Sabres for the long-term. The decisions made by his draft weekend team won’t be of the kind that set the Blue and Gold back a year or three. Maybe that’s why Regier was hesitant to use the term “rebuild,” instead opting for “r-word.” The direction of this franchise isn’t really in full rebuild mode, and it’s not really in retooling mode either. It’s somewhere in between.
Coming out of this weekend, after all the changes and all the additions, we will be able to look at this franchise and assure ourselves that the future has been made brighter. The r-word process (choose your own of the two) won’t be over, but we’ll be better.
Our closets might be a little bit out-dated. But we’ll be better.
And hey, there’s a lot to talk about at happy hour today. This weekend is going to be fun.
See you guys on Monday at the Sabres’ store.