Tag Archive for 'Sabres'

Bye Bye, Soupy

It’s tough being a small-market sports fan, especially when the sport in question is hockey. For all the talk of parity in the NHL, it’s clear that there are two classes of teams – those willing to spend money to acquire and retain top talent, and the Buffalo Sabres.

The Sabres suffered losing their two top centermen to free agency last off-season, after posting the best record in the NHL and their second Eastern Conference Championship loss in a row. One can argue about front office mistakes in not signing Briere and Drury, but in the end, it was their turn to cash in on a big contract, and Buffalo was unwilling or could not afford to pay. (Let us not forget also that the Sabres were up against the salary cap all of last season.)

bye bye, Soupy.And now we have a home-grown NHL superstar in Brian Campbell – two-time All Star, spin-o-rama skater, and open-ice hitter of R.J. Umberger – now due his big pay day at the end of this season, as he becomes eligible for free agency. What are the Sabres to do?

Well, the only move is to trade him. The Sabres could not risk losing him for nothing, and Campbell and his agent seemed luke warm about signing something before the trade deadline. I certainly can’t blame either party.

But, I can feel sad. Being a fan of a small-market team is tough, and I’d be lying if I weren’t a little jealous that the Rangers or Ducks can just go buy whomever they want every year. In Buffalo, we have to make our own stars.

After the jump, some highlights from Soupy’s career in Buffalo, including some of his hilariously horrible local television commercials.

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Sabres as Oasis?

Chris DruryWe’re heading home to Buffalo for the holiday, (and my 10-year High School reunion), which reminds me of how well the Sabres are playing.

ESPN’s John Buccigross compares the Sabres to the britpop Oasis of all things:

At full strength, the Buffalo Sabres are unequivocally the best team in the NHL. Not only do they have the full complement of parts, but Buffalo has that confidence that Oasis had when they went head-to-head with Blur back in 1995 in a Britpop mano a mano, or more accurately called boyo-a-boyo.

Noel Gallagher said he and Oasis’ soul was more pure than Blur’s because they grew up poor, with dirt underneath their fingernails, while Blur was middle class. The concept is interesting, especially when it is spoken with a rough English accent while sitting in a gigantic and expensive chair.

But Chris Drury, who grew up in a middle-class town in southern Connecticut, makes $3.1 million this season and probably will sign a five-year, $22 million contract with someone next summer. And yet, he plays every game like someone kidnapped his entire family and the ransom is winning the faceoff he is about to take. That’s the story, morning glory.

I may not agree with John’s take on the 90s Britpop war, but it’s hard to argue with his thoughts on Drury.

Anniversary with the Sabres

romantic night

A romantic night wouldn’t be complete without Canadian beer

On January 23, Presley and I marked our 7th anniversary, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than at the Sabres-Bruins hockey game. Am I right?

Just so you don’t think I’m weird, our first “date” was a Sabres game (in Buffalo) in December of 1996. So, it was a nice reminder for us, and it was cool. Thanks to Craigslist, we got first-row, on-the-glass seats. Amazing.

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I really am tempted to write a Slate-like cranky criticism of the new Buffalo Bills uniforms, but I will try to say some nice things: The dark blue is great. I like the stripes with the gray on the helmet.

(Here comes the cranky part) So, if you’re going to make an “update” with the new darker blue, why would you keep the lighter royal blue? Wouldn’t it be nice to put the numbers in red, or gray? or the new dark blue? Doesn’t that light blue look just as dated now as it did last year? Why do the white uniforms have a blue bar on the shoulders?

And the logo—change the f*cking logo. I think the Sabres got the logo RIGHT. It’s tough, modern and looks fucking great on the front of the uniforms. The Bills logo (much like the original Sabres jerseys) is the boring old abstract corporate-art that is a direct rip-off of that 1970s Buffalo propaganda “WE’RE TALKING PROUD”. Talking Proud? We’re talking MISERY.

Let me tell you what I really think. In a move true to this nostalgic age we live in, the Bills tried to preserve many elements of the old uniforms, while updating the colors a little. The result? It’s an incohesive mishmash of styles and colors, trying to be everything to everybody and it fails all around. There is nothing intimidating about these jerseys, nor is there anything “new”.