Questions Heading Into the Season

September 30, 2009

There’s a lot of questions floating around my mind…

– Will the Phoenix ownership debacle be settled anytime soon? With the judge rejecting both the NHL and Balsille’s bids, it means it will drag on into the heart of the season. As former Sabres have attested, playing for a team in the throes of bankruptcy is a drain both on and off the ice.

– Will Tyler Myers enjoy his 9-game tryout with the big boys and be shuffled off back to juniors, or will he become a permanent fixture on the team this season? And as a corollary to this question, when Lydman returns to the lineup once his hand is healed, which defenseman is relegated to the press box? My money is on Tallinder.

– Will Danny Paille fall victim to the “got married” disease that once affected Thomas Vanek?

– With his troubles this past summer and rumors of his extracurricular activities finally hitting the fan, will the Chicago Blackhawks make a move to sign Patrick Kane to a contract extension? A lot of Chicago’s young core is coming up on the ends of their deals at the end of this season and will be looking for significant raises.

– Continuing with the Kaner theme, just how many dimes will be thrown from the stands at “Twenty-Cent” this season? I’d hope that if fans do this (and in no way am I advocating that they do) that no one gets hurt and that teams donate whatever dimes are collected to a local charity. In fact, if a team wanted to have fun with it, they could make the night the BlackHawks roll into town “Twenty-Cent” night, and do some fundraising with dimes at the entrance gates. Think of how much money could be raised!

– What Sabres will show up this season? Will we get the Accountable Grown-Up Sabres, or will the Whiny Snot-Nosed Punks show up all too often? While I think there’s a lot more grownups in the locker room this year (and a few emerging grownups), there’s still a lot of players that can easily slip into the role of lackadaisical lollygagger quite easily.

– Will the Sabres have finally grasped that hockey games are 60 minutes long and not 40…or 20?

– Who will still be coaching in Buffalo at the end of the season: Lindy Ruff or Dick Jauron?

– Just why is Jonathan Jackson coming back to General Hospital after all these years? Sorry for the diversion but JJ on GH as Lucky Spencer was a cornerstone of my high school years. I’m feeling old and nostalgic right now.

– When will the first “My God, The Sabres Suck and Should All Be Set Adrift In Lake Erie” column be written by The Buffalo News?

– Will Patrick Lalime step up and again be a perfectly cromulent backup goaltender instead of a sieve on skates? With this being an Olympic year, and Miller guaranteed to play a significant chunk of time for Team USA in Vancouver, Lindy can’t fall back on his old coaching standby of riding Miller like Secretariat. Lalime needs to be able to give Miller a breather now and again.

– Will Tim Connolly remain healthy for longer than the length of time it takes one to walk a lap around the 100 Level at HSBC Arena? (Seriously, I think Timmy is the team’s Mystery wrapped in an Enigma and Covered in Band-Aids. This  WBEN interview is the most I’ve ever heard him speak in one sitting.)

– Just how does Sabretooth Twitter with those ginormous paws of his?

– How long until the first stick size joke is uttered regarding Chara’s posing nude for the ESPN Body Issue?

– Will The Two-Eyed Pea Brains achieve their third consecutive fifth place finish in the IPB Fantasy Hockey League this year?

– Will Max Afinogenov succeed in Atlanta or will he fall victim to his old dipsy doodling ways?

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But tomorrow night the puck drops on the 2009-10 season and its going to be a good one…I hope.

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