Redemption, Thy Name Is Drew StaffordJune 16, 2008
If you remember, Drew Stafford was scratched for the last Sabres game of the year against Boston. There were quite a few theories put out as to why Stafford sat out (injury, too many guys not enough spots, in Lindy’s doghouse, etc). After reading today that Stafford is going to be attending Sabres prospect camp, I’d be inclined to think that the latter reason was the reason behind Stafford’s benching and maybe young Staffy is trying to mend some broken bridges.
The 2008-09 season is going to be Stafford’s second complete season in the league. His intro to the league was in 2006-07, when he became one of the “Buffchester Saberks” during the Sabres seemingly neverending injury streak. The time has well passed for Stafford to be considered a “prospect.” He was drafted in the same year as Kaleta and Sejkera, and you don’t hear about them making the trip to camp. (I don’t even consider Kaleta and Sejkera “prospects” anymore, as both of them acquitted themselves very well this past season.) Stafford also played for Team USA this past year and by all accounts played very well. Is he trying to make amends for a shitty 2007-08 season? Is he holding auditions for a new road roomie, as according to what he said on Power Play, he’s had quite a few of them.
According to the Sabres, prospect camp (Camp Junior Morningwood) will be held at Niagara U’s Dwyer Arena, and players will be housed together. There will be on and off ice sessions, with the off ice sessions focusing on conditioning programs necessary to be a successful NHL player, NHL rules and the “successful techniques a player must possess to become a professional athlete.” (I’m ignoring the awkward use of the word “technique” in that quote, but I’d be willing to bet that lecture contains the “hugs not drugs” and “no love without a glove” speeches.)
The last off-ice session mentioned will focus on an introduction to the Sabres system. I wonder if they will call in Pommers to illustrate how to successfully work system mentions into media interviews? We all know that Pommers mentioning the system is one of his key talking points, along with sunshine, kittens, puppies and bacon.