Archive for June, 2009

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Bits and Pieces

June 29, 2009

- With the news that the St. Louis Blues have bought out the remaining year of Jay McKee’s contract, obviously there’s going to be discussion of the Sabres potentially making a move to re-sign Jay. I have to vote no on this one. While Jay was a solid defenseman, the poor dear has been injured more often than he’s been healthy over the course of his career. Those 3-4 shots he’d block per game don’t outweigh the time he could spend on the IR. He’s like a slightly more rugged version of Timmy in that regard.

- The team also announced that it has extended qualifying offers to Stafford, Sekera, Kaleta, MacArthur and Kaleta. With this announcement, the team has effectively secured the rights to any compensation should another team make a qualifying offer. Of the bunch, only Sekera and Stafford could potentially attract offers from around the league. And with Regier’s comments that he’s had discussions with Stafford, but doesn’t foresee him signing before July 1, does this mean the team and Stafford are far apart on a deal, or does this mean that Staffy could be trade bait come July 1 or later? Remember, last year Regier and Co. were quiet on July 1, but made the big move after the fourth with the Rivet deal.

- Any ideas on who Regier was talking about with this comment during his interview with WGR?

There are players we’ve looked at and felt there’s a change that could be good for both the player and the organization. It doesn’t mean the player won’t be back. It doesn’t mean we can’t get the performance we expected from the player, but we would look at some changes.”

Stafford again? Roy? Tallinder?

- Tomorrow USA Hockey announces the invitees to 2010 Olympic Training Camp, to be held outside Chicago in mid-August. Miller is pretty much a lock to be invited, but Gaustad, Pominville and Connolly remain as dark horses. With the comments Brian Burke has made about loving Paul Gaustad’s grit and physicality, I would think he would have a better shot at making camp than some of the other guys.


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They’re Alive

June 24, 2009

It’s been a decidedly quiet time for the Sabres. However, the Sabres related news has perked up in the past couple of days.

- Darcy Regier has made an offer to Jaroslav Spacek. I hope it’s like a 2-year deal, since Spacek is 35-years-old. A longer length of time would be ridiculous.

- Paul Gaustad again proves that he is a stand up guy by pointing out that he knows that the team needs to work on shooting more and defending their goalies and each other. Well, praise the lord and pass the ammunition. Now if Goose can only get it through the thick heads of the rest of his teammates. When Miller spends more time getting run than playing goal, you know you have a problem. Also, if the boys will spend more time shooting the puck next season, they will drastically reduce the amount of times I want to throw something at my television set. That’s good on both sides. They can score goals, and I can keep my TV set in one piece.

Gaustad also mentions that he was invited to play for Team USA in the World Championships earlier this year, but had to decline the invitation due to an injury. He doesn’t specify the nature of the injury, and whether it was upper, lower inner or outer body. Speaking of injuries, was I hallucinating earlier this spring, or did Pominville have some sort of undisclosed injury at the end of the season? If so, did anything come of it?

- How did y’all celebrate the anniversary of the day that brought Tim Connolly into our lives? I, for one, went to work and am now spending the night with Edgar, Crosby, Ding, Dong and my favorite other crab fishing boyfriends on Deadliest Catch.

- Congratulations to Lindy on being named to the coaching staff of Team Canada for the 2010 Olympics. Lindy, you know I love you, but when push comes to shove next February, I’m going to be routing for my USA babies. I also am really amused at the photo editors of TSN/CTV. The TSN photo promoting the story features Lindy giving his best “bitch please” face, while the CTV Olympics site features a photo of a hollering Lindy. They’ve really managed to capture the essence of Lindy, haven’t they?

- I heard a commercial for the Sabres draft party at the Albright Knox on Friday. One of the things the commercial is promoting is a Q&A with Sabretooth. Now tell me, how is Sabretooth going to do a Q&A? Last time I checked, the poor thing is mute. Is he just going to gesticulate his answers or will someone interpret for him?

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10 Years

June 19, 2009

10 years ago today and it still bleepin sucks.

I’m feeling old. When this happened, I was fresh off my graduation from HAA and looking forward to starting Canisius that fall. Now, I’ve been out of college for 6 years and working at a job that I love with people that I adore (even when they’re driving me nucking futs).

10 years, and the closest we’ve come to Stanley since then was the EC Finals. That’s progress, eh?

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NHL Awards

June 18, 2009

Random thoughts from tonight’s NHL Awards broadcast.

- What is Chaka Khan wearing? It’s like dominatrix gear was crossed with a Hefty bag. Her duet with Robin Thicke didn’t sound bad at all, but the crowd was not getting into it.

- Wow, can Pat Kane read a teleprompter. He somehow manages to look greasy, drunky and baked at the same time.

- “My English still short.” – Pavel Datsyuk. Aww

- How the hell does almost dying on the ice preclude someone from winning the Masterton trophy? That trumps coming back from open heart surgery and not being nominated as one of the biggest injustices of the year. I’m now outraged on Zednik’s behalf, in addition to still being outraged on Teppo’s behalf.

- Props to Manny Fernandez and Tim Thomas for bringing some much needed comedy to this evening, as Tim Tom cracked the room up during his Jennings Award by asking if he should thank Manny’s wife. Heh.

- The awards presenters are almost painful. As Schnookie pointed out on IPB, Goose apparently needed to be brought in to teach the fundamentals of reading. I guess he didn’t get that call from the NHL.

- During Datsyuk’s acceptance speech for the Lady Byng when he commented about following your dreams, I immediately launched into Cartman’s “follow your dreams, you can reach your goals. I am living proof. BEEFCAKE!” speech.

- I really hope all the NHLers get flea dipped after the show at the Palms. Between the Playboy suite, the Real World suite and god only knows what else, there’s enough cooties running around the Palms to keep exterminators busy for eternity.

- Who do Chris Chelios and Jeremy Roenick know in the camera booth? They keep showing up on the screen for no. good. reason.

- Ethan Moreau looked nervous but gave a good speech.

- Apparently teleprompters are not Jeremy Roenick’s strong suit. He stumbled over his introdutory blather for the Fan Five award winner. And I would have liked to have seen what the Fan Five were, instead of just seeing Luongo be annointed as the winner.

- The blue hue of this broadcast is bothering the snot out of me.

- In this beige outfit, if Chaka Khan moves the wrong way, the camels toe will be on display. I don’t want or need to see that. Thankyouverymuch.

- And it’s so nice that in this “tribute to the fans” montage, we’re seeing more of Chaka. As a fan, I’m feeling a wee bit disrespected.

- Why am I getting so upset about all of this?

- Aww, William Fitchner. He’s a good Buffalo boy. Here’s to hoping that someday he’ll be presenting the Vezina to Ryan Miller instead of Tim Thomas. Puck Daddy seems to think that Thomas should be the starter for the 2010 US Olympic team. Two words for TimTom’s performance this year: contract year. On the other hand, a Miller/TimTom battle for starter could be mighty entertaining.

- Aww, Tim Tom’s getting emotional. It’s nice to see, since everyone else is kind of rolling the speeches off by heart with little emotion.

- Kevin Smith. The fact that you love hockey made me love you even more than I did after I saw Dogma. I can even forgive the fact that you’re a Devils fan.

- Pat Burns looks fantastic for being in the middle of his third battle with cancer. Go get ‘em, Pat. Kick some cancer ass.

- Claude Julien wins the Jack Adams award. He kind of looks like a hockey coach, with the stern yet pudgy face.

- Oh, shut up already, Mark Messier. No one cares. Just hand out your award and get off the stage.

- Kudos to Iginlia for thanking his teammates during the leadership award presentation. He remembered that you can’t be a leader without a good group of followers.

- I can honestly say that I will not be watching Fanarchy.

- Kevin Connolly is a short little man, as any fan of Entourage can attest.

- Chara wins the Norris trophy. If it would have been that little punk Mike Green, I might have thrown something at the TV set. A good defenseman needs to be both offensively and defensively minded. Chara’s speech was pretty good, both thanking the team and the family, and even bringing the humor into it.

- Malkin’s attempt at English is so charming.

- Ovie brings some humor to the room by saying that Geno’s English is better than Datsyuk’s English.

- Oh yay, Gary Bettman. Joy and bliss!

- And Jean Beliveau wins the “I thought he was dead” award.

- Ovie wins the Hart. Fun will once again reign throughout the league.

- That awards show was definitely underwhelming. Next year, the league should let the fans be in charge of planning the festivities. We’d find a way to mix tradition and fun and have it be interesting.

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Pie Down!

June 16, 2009

WGR is reporting that Dan Paille hurt his knee during offseason workouts and had a “minor procedure” to fix the problem. Here’s to hoping that not only is Paille ready to go for training camp, but that he’s well enough and healed enough for his wedding later this summer.

(And before you ask, I have no deets on the wedding, other than Paul Hamilton’s comment that it’s happening later this summer. The end.)

That concludes today’s talking about actual hockey.

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Shots Off The Foul Pole…Or, My Trip to a Bisons Game

June 14, 2009

Tomorrow is my grandfather’s 80th birthday. In celebration of that event and next week’s Father’s Day holiday, the entire family decided to surprise him with a trip to today’s Bisons game, including a suite experience and throwing out the first pitch. Let’s just say that D-Day had less planning than this birthday extravaganza. But despite all the hard work, emails and other subterfuge that had to happen (aka lots of phone calls in code), my grandfather was truly surprised and a good time was had by all.

- No way in heck were there over 6,800 people at Coca Cola Field for today’s game. I realize that may have been the “tickets sold” number and not the “tickets redeemed” number, but my guesstimate on attendance was probably 4,500 at best. There were lots of people disguised as red seats, lets put it that way.

- When we entered the stadium, we were given Thunderstix. I think I’m now deaf in my left ear after having cousin #1 bang on them for the better part of a game.

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dadadadadada…thunder

Cousin #2 exercised his creative juices and made the below from his Thunderstix.

P6140494It’s a dog, in case you were wondering. Said creative cousin is also available for birthdays, weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs.

- I took a breather from the fam and headed down to the main concourse to check out the gift shop and what was going on on the main level. The Bisons gift shop is pitiful compared to the Sabres Store. And I knowsthat I’m spoiled by the Sabres Store, but seriously, the Bisons gift shop is ridiculously small and doesn’t seem to have a very large product mix. There was a hoodie on the website that I liked but the store didn’t have, and the team was selling Buster plushies from last season at full price. Is it because the Mets don’t seem to want to have the Bisons sell a lot of merch? Who knows.

- When we were leaving the stadium, we were all handed bags of new Wise Honey BBQ Cheese Puffs. I can’t help but wonder why someone would want to combine barbecue flavor with cheese poofs, but they did. It’s like someone got baked, combined cheesy poofs and Honeycomb in their munchie stupor and thought this would make a great snack. They’re not bad if one is hungry enough, but I’m not going to run out and buy a bag.

- The kids running the bases after the game were ridiculously adorable. There was a father out there with his son, who was probably not more than a year old. They ran the distance from first to second before the father picked him up and ran around the rest of the bases carrying him, before depositing him about ten feet away from home and allowing him to toddle the rest of the way on his two little legs. The kid was precious and completely in awe of both Buster and Chip. Belle just confused – and probably frightened – him.

- I really felt bad for those in the Bisons bullpen during the game. They were constantly being divebombed by seagulls and even had a close encounter with a foul ball that scattered them pretty quickly. While the seagulls were nowhere near as insane as what is going on in Cleveland (at least ours don’t land on the field), I can’t help but wonder how long it will be until a fan is attacked by a bird, or a bird affects the on-field action.

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Good and Bad

June 13, 2009

Good: The Penguins won the Cup.

Bad: Yeah, I got nothing there.

Good: Sidney Crosby finally shed the label of “Best Current Player to Never Win a Cup.”

Bad: Miro Freakin Satan won a Cup. Please cue the predictable Buffalo News article focusing on the only way that Sabres players win the Cup is to leave town. That will be the second article in the Predictable Series. The first article will focus on “Why is Lindy Ruff Still the Coach?” The third article will focus on “Buffalo Won’t Spend to Win the Cup.”

Good: Pittsburgh won a Cup despite changing coaches midstream. Or because of it.You make the call.

Bad: Hi, Lindy! (Kidding. I think Lindy’s going to be the coach through at least the midpoint of next season.)

Good: Despite the fact that he’s now 21 years old, Sid will still have a spot open for him at Chez Lemieux.

Bad: Despite the fact that he’s now 21 years old, Sid will still have a spot open for him at Chez Lemieux. (Kidding. I think it’s adorable that Sid has become the 21-year old kid that the Lemieux family never knew they wanted. And how is Lemieux recognized by WordPress/Firefox spellcheck anyway?)

Good: The debacle that was the 2008-09 hockey season is now over. And admittedly, unless you’re a fan of a selected group of teams, your season was a debacle.

Bad: Is it October yet?

Good: I bought this shirt while at the Allentown Art Festival. I also saw this shirt at the festival and thought that it was amazing. But sadly, how many people would get it?

Bad: I needed another hockey related shirt like I needed a hole in the head.

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