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Adding “D” to Depth: Sabres Add Kevin Porter

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Welcome to “Hockey Heaven,” Kevin Porter.

Or perhaps more fittingly, welcome to the Sabres’ self-proclaimed “Hockey University” of Rochester. Indeed, Porter has struggled mightily to find success at the NHL level. Here’s a blow-by-blow account of how Adrian Dater of the Denver Post summed up his 2011-12 performance:

 It’s not the fun part of my job, ripping on a guy. Kevin Porter was/is a nice guy.

Ouch. That was his lede for this analysis. Moving on:

But he was a D player for the Avs this year. (BSN Note: some of you haven’t gotten it. The “D” in the title up there comes into play now. It’s never funny when I have to explain it. Got it? OK, resume reading.) His stats: 35 games played, three goals, four assists, -2.

The Avs have to stop believing that players like Porter are going to do anything for them. He’s the kind of player who scores goals in meaningless games, and can fool you. In a game that counts in the NHL, if he’s a regular player for you, you’re going to lose.

Ouch.

He scored 14 goals for the Avs in 2010-11, but it was somewhat of a mirage. A really bad team with a guy who scored 14 goals – that and $3.50 will get you a grande non-fat latte at Starbucks.

TKO.

GM Greg Sherman can’t keep making mistakes like this. He signed Porter to a new deal, when everyone who saw him play knew he wasn’t a guy you’re going to win with at the NHL level. He was a good college player (a Hobey Baker winner in fact), but that didn’t translate to the NHL in his case. And everybody who knows the game knew that last year.

It’s just a fact of life: sometimes you’re just not good enough for the next level. It’s not an indictment of Porter’s character that he’s one of those guys. It’s just a fact.

EVERYONE BACK OFF AND GIVE THE KID SOME ROOM TO BREATHE. Dang, Dater, you really brutalized this poor guy. Honestly, it’s pretty surprising that this is what has become of a prospect who once carried a very impressive resume on Wiki:

In his 2004–05 freshman season with the Wolverines, Porter scored 11 goals in 39 games to finish with 24 points, second among Wolverine rookies to fellow USNTDP product and Coyotes draft pick, Chad Kolarik. Establishing his scoring touch as a sophomore with 38 points in 39 games, Kevin returned as a junior to lead the Wolverines with 24 goals and place second among points with 58 to earn player of the Month award (November) and nomination to the CCHA Second All-Star Team.[2]

With the departure of prolific Michigan scorer T.J. Hensick, Porter returned to captain the Wolverines for his senior year in 2007–08.[3] For the fourth consecutive season Porter improved his season totals posting 33 goals and 63 points in 43 games to lead the U of M and place second only to Nathan Gerbe in the NCAA. He set a NCAA Tournament record with four goals in the East Regional Semi-Final against Niagara, as he captained the Wolverines to the Frozen four for the first time since 2003.[4] Named as the University of Michigan Male sports person of the Year, Porter’s standout season was also awarded with selection to the CCHA First All-Star Team, CCHA Player of the Year and the NCAA West First All-American Team to culminate in winning the Hobey Baker Award as the top collegiate player in the NCAA.[5][6]

It’s not for me to say what happened to Porter since he beat out the Sabres’ own Nathan Gerbe and Ryan Jones (who now skates with the Edmonton Oilers) to win the Hobey Baker. There’s gotta’ be some good hockey left in this now 26-year old. It will likely be under the tutelage of Rochester Americans Coach Ron Rolston to figure that all out.

If he earned himself a D, I suppose “Hockey University” is the best place for him. In the end, who knows, maybe he’ll be able to bring his A game to the NHL level.

Kevin Porter Sabres 300x217 Adding D to Depth: Sabres Add Kevin Porter

This is your 2nd chance, Kevin. Study hard. We’re all rooting for you.

And nuts to you, Adrian Dater. You don’t have Kevin Porter to kick around anymore.

Go Sabres.

And go Porter.

UPDATE: Let’s return to one of Dater’s “insights” for a moment.

He’s the kind of player who scores goals in meaningless games, and can fool you. …He scored 14 goals for the Avs in 2010-11, but it was somewhat of a mirage. A really bad team with a guy who scored 14 goals – that and $3.50 will get you a grande non-fat latte at Starbucks.

Interesting. I wonder which regular season games Dater designates as “meaningless.” Most hockey minds would be quick to rebuke anyone who would claim that any of those 82 regular season games are meaningless. And about that whole “mirage” thing – did his 14 goals merit any value at all?

Well, it turns out that of those 14 goals that he netted in the 2010-11 season, 3 of them were game winners, and one of those was in overtime. 21% of his goals – game winners.

Meaningless? I’d like to hear Drater’s definition of that word. Last I checked, that definition doesn’t include the word “clutch.”

Again: nuts to you, Dater.

 

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The Amerks 12 Days of Christmas

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It’s Halloween season!

JasonVoorhees 300x235 The Amerks 12 Days of Christmas

Which means we all get at least one day to dress up like this guy between buying Christmas decorations, which have been on sale since October 1st.

So, in that Halloween spirit of giving, I present to you the 2009 version of the “12 Days of Christmas,” as performed by the Rochester Americans. Then affiliated only with the Florida Panthers, it nonetheless remains a chilling touching reminder of why hockey players should never, ever sing.

(Unless, of course, they are in the band “Red Seal Peach.”)

Take it away, Florida Amerks 0f 2009!

Lyrics are provided below… out of utter necessity.

Alexander Salak: “On the twelth day of christmas the amerks gave to me, 12 amazing glove saves.”
Jason Garrison: “On the eleventh day of christmas the amerks gave to me, 11 scorching slapshopts.”
Michal Repik: “On the tenth day of christmas the amerks gave to me, 10 goals by Repik.”
Evgeny Dadanov: “On the ninth day of christmas the amerks gave to me, 9 points by Dadanov.”
Luke Beaverson: “On the eighth day of christmas the amerks gave to me,eight crunch a weeping.”
Brady Calla: “On the seventh day of christmas the amerks gave to me, seven cups of winning.”
David Brine: “On the sixth day of christmas the amerks gave to me, six lamps a lighting”
Shawn Matthias: “On the fifth day of christmas the amerks gave to me, FIVE POWER PLAY GOALS!”
Jimmy Bonneau: “On the fourth day of christmas the amerks gave to me, four gloves dropped.”
Andrew Sweetland: “On the third day of christmas the amerks gave to me, three breakaways.”
Mike Duco: “On the second day of christmas the amerks gave to me, two sprit dancers.”
Tyler Plante: “On the first day of christmas the amerks gave to me a the best fans in all of hockey!!”

I expect the Pegula Era version of this carol to be overwhelmingly superb (and to utilize heavy dose of Auto-Tune).

Go Amerks.

Go Sabres.

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Drew MacIntyre: What you Need to Know about Our New Goaltender

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While everyone was focused on the Ehrhoff and Leino sigings and the Regehr trade, the Sabres quietly added a very good netminder to the organization.

It went a bit under-reported, and most fans in Buffalo were left scratching their heads over not only over what MacIntyre brings to the crease, but why the organization brought him in. Some even jumped to the conclusion that it was a move that signaled an impending trade of Jhonas Enroth.

DrewMacIntyre1 300x225 Drew MacIntyre: What you Need to Know about Our New Goaltender

Our new Man Behind the Fiberglass/Kevlar Mask

MacIntyre will be in Rochester for the 2011-12 season (barring any injuries at HSBC), but just how good is this guy? To get more info on him, we headed straight over to The “The Goalie Guild,” an information and scouting destination for all things netminder related. Justin Goldman, member of the Pro Hockey Writers Association and contributor to NHL.com, is one of the best minds to pick when it comes to what to expect from a anyone wearing a goaltender’s mask.

Goldman gave us a full profile on MacIntyre, and you’re going to like what he had to say. Take it away, Justin:

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Sabres to Reunite with Amerks

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I’m already putting money aside for a red white and blue Foligno jersey.

Amerks logo1 Sabres to Reunite with Amerks

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 -

jodygage1 Sabres to Reunite with Amerks

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?

Go Sabres.

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