Archive for August, 2009

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Another Miller Interview

August 27, 2009

Ryan Miller did a call-in this morning with Janet and Nick of Kiss 98.5 fame. Some of the highlights:

- Miller and Kaleta are doing an “Iron Chef” competition tonight with two local chefs. It was one of the prizes offered at last year’s CFC, with a gentleman from New Era placing the winning bid. Miller hopes to not be a hindrance to his professional chef and hopes to pick up a tip or two in the process. Really though, his main goal for the night is to just not set himself on fire. I’d also like to add a secondary goal of not chopping off a finger, but that’s probably quite obvious.

- The portion of the interview dealing with the Olympic drug testing process was the most interesting part of the entire feature. He said that players on the protocol have to account for their whereabouts for a certain period of time each day from October on and if they don’t, they’re in a metric shitload of trouble. It sounds like a ton of work for the athlete, remembering to be responsible, but if that’s the price you have to pay in order to wear the USA on your chest, then it’s really kind of worth it, in my opinion. It’s this kind of insight and inside information that I appreciate during interviews, and you could really pick up on Miller’s slight feeling of overwhelmed-ness about the whole thing.

- The Catwalk for Charity is being held on November 8th this year and will have a 1950s theme. Ryan is thinking more “American Graffiti” 50s and not “Grease” 50s, for what it’s worth. I would love to see the guys Hand Jive down the runway, but that might be asking for too much. Then again, if Timmy can break out The Worm, I don’t think the Hand Jive is too far out there.

(I’m not going to tell you how much of a timeout I took on YouTube at this point to go watch some Grease clips. I got sucked into “Beauty School Dropout” and “Greased Lightning”)

- Apparently Derek Roy does one hell of a Soulja Boy dance, and Janet and Nick made the comment that Ryan has to stage an intervention with Roy. Ryan replied that there’s too many things that Roy-Z needs help with. ZING! (But he said it with real affection in his voice, which was nice).

- Gaustad and Miller went to Spain and missed a Kings of Leon show due to high winds canceling the show. In what was probably the stupidest question of the day (topping by a smidgen the question asking Paul Posluszny what he thinks of Dick Jauron’s hats),  Janet & Nick asked if he & Goose ran with the bulls during their trip, and Ryan SMARTLY replied that the bull running is probably in violation of an NHL contract. (Like, duh to the nth degree.) It sounds like they had fun on their trip, but I kind of wonder who would be more fun to watch frolic around Europe: Miller and Gaustad or Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow?

- Miller took a training break in mid-summer, because if he spent every day in the gym, he’d probably beat his head against a wall. Hah. Along a similar vein, they also asked him if he takes any special nutritional supplements. He only occasionally throws protein powder into a shake at the end of the day, but tries not to do too many weird things, especially as the drug testing is so stringent, and so many supplements aren’t careful about their labeling. And the last thing you want to do is blow a positive on the drug test, especially so close to the games.

- Miller drives a 500hp car of some sort, as he did the interview while behind the wheel and on the way to a workout with the boys.  Hopefully he was using a hands free device so as not to be in violation of the laws of this fine state.

While that concludes the summary of Miller’s interview, I do have one more question.

Has there been any word on what is going on with Stafford? Sweet hockey playing deity, can Darcy and Staffy’s agent really be that far apart on terms? Like it or lump it, Stafford is a big part of the team, and the team is going to hurt without the uni-browed wonder in the lineup.

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This Is All Completely Random

August 25, 2009

- I’d love to know how long it took to turn around this ESPN commercial regarding Brett Farve?

- Sabres.com posted a Q&A with Adam Mair where he answered questions posted by Facebook users. While the cartoon question is something new and different, I do have to wonder why people even choose to ask whether players like what management has done in the offseason. Do we really think the players are going to answer that with anything but a positive answer? They value their jobs and their happy homes here in Buffalo. No matter if they think they’re heading out on a voyage of the SS Minnow, starring Darcy as the Skipper and Lindy as Gilligan, they’re not going to say that. It’s always going to be sunshine, kittens, puppies and rainbows. Let’s move on already and find a new question.

- Today’s Jerry Sullivan’s column discussed letting Trent call the plays, rather than relying on the press box or the sidelines to determine the play. After reading the following text, you get the feeling that Trent’s ready to kick ass and take some names of members of the media.

“You’ve watched the games just like I have. I don’t know if you’ve seen any throws I could have made down the field. If you want to call the plays and throw the ball down the field, that’s fine. I’m taking what the defense is giving me and continuing to go through my reads, and that’s the way I’m coached.”

However, after seeing the video with this quote on the news last night, Trent has to be exhibiting the classiest and most polite bit of pissiness I’ve seen out of a professional athlete in a long while.

- Wonder what the NHL thinks about the DirecTV potentially dropping Versus at the end of the month?

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Some of Them Are Still Alive…

August 21, 2009

Or, a brief roundup of some recent Sabres media appearances.

- Ryan Miller did an interview with Schopp and the Bulldog during the Hunter’s Hope Radiothon.

Ater spending the past couple days at Camp USA in Chicago, Miller is back home and was out chasing his godson Riley – all of age “not even 3″ -  around the “big boy golf course” (his words, not mine). They talked briefly about Hunters Hope and screening newborns for different diseases and how not all states screen for the same diseases. Miller was definitely emphatic that passing legislation is tough (like duh…makes me wonder what side he’s falling on in the health care debate), but that every American has the right to have a strong healthy family in these United States.

After the obligatory Hunter’s Hope talk, they moved on to discussing Camp USA. Miller reported that he had fun at camp and it really wasn’t about getting on the ice and showing off for the coaching staff, it was more about starting to come together as a group, having meetings and starting to develop that patriotic feeling before the February games.

Now this is where the interview got a little funny. They had to take a break so that Miller could go off and make a birdie putt. As Schopp and Bulldog pointed out, it wasn’t just any putt, it was a birdie putt. When Miller got back on the phone, it turns out that he missed the putt. That really didn’t matter, as the day wasn’t so much about golf, but more about teaching his godson golf etiquette. Schopp and the Bulldog did mention the irony of trying to teach someone golf etiquette and then talking on the phone during a round of golf. I’m willing to cut Miller a pass on the phone thing, as cell phones are an essential part of my company golf tournament, as gossip spreads throughout the course (who fell off a cart, who made a hole in one, who’s got the snacks, etc) and, when we’re lucky enough to have hockey in May, hockey score updates.

And now for the actual hockey talk. Miller launched into what seems to be his standard talking points these days: management believes in the group of guys that are assembled, Miller believes in the guys that are assembled. They’re going to miss Spacek, but really, they’re a group of guys who are growing together blahblahblahsamestuffdifferentdaycakes.

They talked about Grier coming back, and Miller was positively gushing (for him) about what Grier brings to the team and how much respect he has for him. Miller also made a comment about the “fan sites” speculating about the reasons Grier left Buffalo originally. Hmm. And what fan sites could those be? Inquiring, and slightly paranoid, minds want to know.

The interview came to an end here, as Schopp and Bulldog wanted to return Miller to his golf game. And it’s less than a month until the preseason starts. Yay!

- And Paul Gaustad hasn’t been hiding his light under a bushel lately, either. This article from Portland, OR discusses Gaustad’s recent involvement in promoting youth hockey in the Portland area. He’s excited to be involved with the group, as it not only will help introduce more kids to the sport, but also help develop a fanbase for his former junior team, the Portland Winterhawks.

He also had some nice things to say about the Sabres.

“I’ve been with the organization for seven years, and I’ve had the same roommate on the road (Jason Pominville) all seven years,” he said. “The Sabres have been a class act, and they showed a lot of trust in me to give me a long-term extension.”

I wouldn’t call it trust. I know what he’s trying to say, but that seems like the wrong word.  I see it as the team recognizing that the guy works his ass off day in and day out and holds himself and his teammates to a high standard and isn’t afraid to call himself and his teammates out if they don’t meet those standards.

- Craig Rivet was on the news this afternoon, participating in an event at the Fair with Home Depot and Stone’s Buddies.

- What’s the deal with the “Sabres Road Crew” tab on the new and improved splash page on Sabres.com?

- I’m still undecided about hitting the Tent Sale on Sunday. Sure, there’s some good stuff available, but at the same time, there’s kids and parents to battle at the street hockey tourney, streets closed due to parking, and general chaos. Is it really worth it, is the question?

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Who Comes Up With These Ideas?

August 18, 2009

Imagine you’re a highly paid professional hockey player. You enter a photo shoot and are told to stand in a particular spot. Alright, you can manage that. Hold this stick is the next command. Still, not completely outrageous. Then, you are told to look off into the distance to your right.

All these elements are not bad when taken in isolation, but when combined with a faux glass block background and some blue lighting, this is what results.

lalalalala

The background kind of reminds me of the old elementary school picture background with the faux lasers. Everyone wanted the laser backgrounds because they were so cool. Now, when you look back at them, they’re really kind of cheesy.

Also, is that just a regular hockey stick (and not a goalie paddle) that Miller is holding? I need someone with better eyes than mine to confirm.

If you want to see more of the images from camp, go to Getty Images and search “hockey.”

And in other news, based on the photos on Puck Daddy, I kind of want a USA Olympic Hockey Sweater. (The ones that look like the retro 1980 sweaters) They look neat, but I really would want to see one in person to judge the quality before making a commitment of that dollar amount. I mean, it looks like I will need something to replace my Stafford sweater unless something gets done with him in the next couple of weeks.

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Camp USA!

August 17, 2009

I was reading the NHL blog summary of today’s on ice activities at Team USA Training Camp and this quote from Ryan Miller stood out.

We’ll start worrying about being a world-class goalie in a month or so.

Aside from the use of the royal We, Miller’s quote stresses that this camp is about shaking the cobwebs out of the goalie gear, getting back into the rhythym, not pulling any important muscles, etc. At least it shows that he’s going to come into camp ready and raring to go.

I’m also slightly amused by Burkie and Ron Wilson making the guys play traditional getting-to-know-you games, like sharing info about your roomies. Are they taking plays from the Remember the Titans playbook? Remember, this is what Coach Boone did to force the white and black players to start acting like teammates rather than adversaries. If I hear reports of sing-a-longs to Motown classics, then I know that our Olympic team is really using a Disney movie as an off-ice playbook. And the curious side of me wants to know who Miller’s roomie is.

NHL.com also has a brief video of a Miller interview where he discusses his being left off the 2006 Olympic Team, his injury that year and playing for the Sabres. I’m also amused by the slight “what the eff kind of questions are these” look that runs across his face every so often. I wonder if he’s a decent poker player or not, since his face is incredibly expressive.


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Ahem.

August 14, 2009

After yesterday’s Michael Vick debacle, I just have the following to say.

I will not believe everything I read on the internet.

I will not believe everything I read on the internet.

I will not believe everything I read on the internet.

I can still believe what’s written in The National Enquirer, US Magazine and OK!, right?

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There’s Been Hockey News Lately

August 11, 2009

- Color me completely shocked that Mike Grier signed with the Sabres. I guess that “commitment to winning” thing is secondary to having a contract. Anyways, Grier did an interview with Howard Simon and crew this morning in which he reiterated that he has the utmost respect for Lindy and Darcy and that Craig Rivet helped to sell him on the idea of returning to Buffalo. Part of me wonders if Rivet did this so as to have another strong, veteran presence in the locker room to help control some of the younger, immature guys. As we all noticed last year, Gaustad, Miller and Rivet were the only ones that regularly called out their teammates publicly, which did not go over well in the room, as reported at the end of the season. Tell me, if you’re a snot nosed punk Sabre, would you want to go up against Rivet, Miller, Grier and Gaustad?And if you did, would you live to tell about it?

- WGR also reports that Grier’s deal is worth 1.2 million. That deal brings the Sabres current payroll to within $455k of the current salary cap level. With about eleventy bazillion forwards on the roster and Drew Stafford still left to sign at a considerable pay raise, I can’t help but think there’s going to be some trades on the horizon before camp starts. In my eyes, the only untouchables are Gaustad, Miller, Rivet and Vanek. Everyone else should be worried.

- Thanks to Caroline at Hockey Night in Buffalo for linking to this lovely video of Gaustad on a Portland TV show. I’ll avoid discussing anything that could get me accused of frolicking in the shallow end of the pool, but I did like his comments that working on team toughness is again an ongoing goal for the team. For the love of Sabretooth, if I have to watch anymore games where Miller is left to come to his own defense after getting shoved around in the crease, I may have to throw something at my TV set. And then I will have to send the bill for a new TV set to someone and I don’t think they will pay it.

- There’s a teensy part of me that wishes that during Olympic Training Camp next week Ryan Miller goes up to Patrick Kane and delivers a sentiment along the lines of “way to lose the support of the people of Buffalo, asshole.” Of course, it would never happen, because Miller is way too classy for that.

- Today’s announcement that the Sabres will be again hosting the Puck Drop event means that we will be able to watch real live hockey in just five weeks. Can you feel the excitement in the air?

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You’ve Come A Long Way Baby

August 9, 2009

Edited to now include 100% more mugshot content.

- When Patrick Kane was drafted by the Black Hawks, I wonder if he thought he’d ever be gracing the pages of TMZ.com?

It…just…yeah.

Somehow, this tops sloshed and shoeless on the ground as the most ridiculous thing to ever happen to a player before/during/after a visit to the Chip Strip.

Scroll down to the bottom of this Puck Daddy post to see the mugshot. A face only a mother could slap, right?

- Meanwhile, Ryan Miller was off being all responsible and cool like while performing his grand marshall duties for the Grand-Am race at the Glen on Friday night. Sabres Edge has a very nice recap of his comments to the media. However, he – like Rivet earlier this offseason – stated that two weeks after the end of the season is an acceptable slacking off time before getting into summer conditioning mode.

In my opinion, that’s just another gauntlet thrown by a vocal leader in the locker room. Sabretooth forbid if someone shows up to camp schlumpy and in less than top form.

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Survive This

August 6, 2009

- This has the potential to be either really, really funny or not end well at all.

Essentially, “Survivorman” Les Stroud is going to give current and former NHLers a copy of his book and a brief survival class before turning them loose on the Canadian wilderness for a weekend. The event is a fundraiser for a local arena. Current Sabres Chris Butler and Steve Montador are scheduled to participate, as are former Sabres Brad May and Andrew Peters.

The league is worried about players hurting themselves at Olympic training camps, but there’s nary a peep about these Survivormen in training. How does that work? And while we’re ripping off Discovery reality shows, I’d love to see NHLers on Deadliest Catch. That could be borderline hysterical, watching big bad NHLers go up against those gnarly, wizened sea captains.

- Also, new Sabres defenseman Joe DiPenta is blogging for The Hockey News.

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Down Goes Teddy!

August 3, 2009

I saw this video on PTI today and it’s hysterical. Poor Teddy Roosevelt never saw that pierogi coming.

I never thought I’d see the day where presidents and pierogis a) were racing each other and b) written about on this blog.

And on a completely unrelated note, Ryan Miller is alive for all your crankypants goalie needs. Now with 100% more apologetic disclaimer!

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