Its Starting

October 4, 2007

Its 8:06 am on Thursday morning. The Sabres season hasn’t even started yet, and I’m already issuing my first “shut up Bucky Gleason” of the 2007-08 season. That has to be some sort of record.

This morning’s Buffalo News features an NHL/Sabres preview section, and the Buckster has an article about Vanek. It starts off nice, talking about how fatherhood has changed Vanek, and then, we get to this bit of brilliance:

I’ll say it again. Had the Sabres finalized the tentative four year agreement worth $21.5 million that was reached with Drury last fall, they would have had no problem re-signing Briere. And had they signed Briere to the reasonable five-year deal worth $25 million that he wanted, they would have had options with Vanek.

Owner Tom Golisano can mostly blame himself for the result. He ultimately balked on the Drury deal and was unwilling to negotiate with Briere. General Manager Darcy Regier justifiably took a good share of the heat, along with managing partner Larry Quinn, but nobody misjudged the situation more than Golisano did.

Full article here  

Yes, Vanek was probably overpaid. Yes, there was a lot of bumbling of the Briere/Drury situations. We all can probably agree on that. But do we really need to rehash this argument again? This particular horse has already been beaten, killed and sent to the glue factory. Briere and Drury are gone. Last time I checked, a hockey team required 23 players, Briere and Drury were just two of the 23 that made up the Sabres. Yes, they were important, but so was Miller. And Vanek. And Timmy. And Soupy. (You get the picture.) The team has managed to move on without Briere and Drury. Why hasn’t Bucky? A nice, warm and fuzzy piece about Vanek shouldn’t include an indictment of management for their mishandling of two other player’s contracts!

Other interesting tidbits from the season preview section:

  • a general admission that while other players may wear the C, this is Miller’s team.
  • a very interesting article about the mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a hockey sweater known as Maxim Afinogenov. For some reason, I can’t picture Soupy and Max as road roommates. Talk about an odd couple.
  • Lindy placed Connolly in Drury’s old locker stall and Stafford in Briere’s. That’s a clear message coming from the coach that these two guys are important and need to step up. (Though I do wonder if they had to adjust the stuff in Stafford’s locker, since Briere was a little shorter than Stafford).


  1. Stafford is totally kneeling to get his shit out of Briere’s old locker!

    I like to think of Bucky as being like Guy Pearce in “Memento”. His brain just sort of clicked off on July first and he can only remember things for a few minutes before he resets and writes another shitty piece about the captains leaving.

  2. Oh no! Staffy’s getting Briere cooties!

  3. The frustrating thing about Bucky is that his column would’ve been absolutely lovely without the above comments. All the stuff about Vanek growing up and fatherhood giving him some focus and maturity was wonderful.

  4. Rather poignant that both Drury and Briere scored the game winners (in addition to both having multiple points)…on opening nights. Call it what it is…a huge blunder by Sabres management.

  5. I think we all can agree that the Sabres management erred in the Briere/Drury situation. But its time to move on. Contrary to popular belief, Briere/Drury were not the only two guys on the team. (It would have been an awfully neat trick if they were!) 23 other guys now have their chance to be the hero/the leader/the go-to guy, instead of just relying on frick and frack to clean up the mess.

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