An attempt to be humorous and logical about the Buffalo Sports Scene.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dick Jauron makes you go Uhhh?

I'm in bed getting ready to go to sleep, and I have the 10 oclock news on, since I go to sleep early. And I hear the story about the Commish and Schumer at Bills camp, and the topic of Marshawn not going to be punished for his traffic violation came up. Which I think everyone knew was going to happen. But what Coach Jauron said about it, made me go. What? Did he just say what I think he said? Heres the clip (his comment is at 1:05 of the piece)


Lets see that in print. "I didn't anticipate anything, because it wasn't my position to anticipate"

I still have no idea what that means. Didn't this man go to Yale? Shouldn't he come up with something that doesn't make me go, what? Uh? Or is it such a over my head statement, I can't even comprehend the significance of this comment. Is that a quadruple negative? Not only didn't he anticipate anything, he wasn't even in the position to start to anticipate. And if he was going to anticipate, he still wasn't in the position to anticipate. Ow my head hurts, trying to wrap my brain around this quote. Normally people talking goes right through my brain, but this one stuck right away. Did the reporters just ignore it, like most of what Jauron says. I swear this man could say anything, but in his tone and matter of speaking, people would just ignore it.

Reporter: Coach, what do you think of Global Warming
Jauron: Well, we still haven't really proved that its real or uh not. But even if it is, we um, uh don't need all these um polar bears anyway.
Reporter: Ok, so Trent Edwards how is he looking?

But seriously, what in the hell does that sentence mean? Just because you're not in position to anticipate, doesn't mean you can't anticipate a final outcome to a situation. People do that all the time. I'm anticipating the Bills season. What position would I have to be in to not be? A fan of the Seahawks? Hes the head coach of the team, he of all people should be in the position to anticipate the outcome of one his best players. If say he was suspended and he didn't anticipate it, then he'd be unprepared, and being unprepared as a head coach is unacceptable.

Maybe I'm the only one that caught the ridiculousness of this comment and can't imagine us saying anything like that ever. Wait, didn't another person who says stupid things all the time go to Yale? Hey he became President. Doing a good job Yalie.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A time to rant

Most likely you will not fly in something this nice

Ok I got back last night from a nice trip to Washington DC. A good place to visit if you like museums and walking around seeing giant government buildings. Not tall buildings, wide buildings. Plus you can see pandas for free.

But I gotta rant about US Airways. I knew when I booked the flight that I didn't really prefer US Airways, but it cut the cost, so alright I'll suffer. Well the flight there wasn't that bad. It went to Laguardia on this small plane, then to BWI on a place with propellers. Seriously? Are we in Alaska? Is this WWII? I have to walk on the tarmac to step into the plane? Well it got there thank god. Then it led to a nice long vacation with my girlfriend. The hotel was ok, it was a bit hot, but whatever there was tons of stuff to do. Then on Sunday it came to leave. We got on the Metro, took the bus shuttle to BWI and we enter the terminal. Something makes me look at the departure board. Its 630pm and our flight is 855pm. Hey we wanted to eat and relax. And I see it CANCELED. Crap. Ok I guess we'll have to stand in line. The only airline with a line was US Airways. They have two people working the First Class desk and one woman for the rest of us. What? We stand there. I get a phone call that our flight is canceled. NO really, I didn't know. There are others in front that are on the earlier flight that is also delayed going into Philly, then somewhere else. Hubs are dumb idea I think. It just leads to airline nightmares if that hub is shut down.

Well I decide to call customer service, (yes in India) who gives me a option for a flight at Reagan. Um hello I'm at BWI, thats not gonna work, why not a flight from Boston or Richmond. Well then I'm like my girlfriend has to get home, since she has an important job. I ask her to see if there are any other flights to Buffalo in this airport. She runs over to the board and a couple directs from Southwest from BWI to Buffalo. Beautiful, we will get out of here no matter what. We keep on waiting in this line that never moves. The clerk person is like anyone going to Buffalo. US ! US! US!!! Well theres a 1055 flight from philly to buffalo. Yes I know I am booked on said flight. So what about the early flight so I can get that flight? Wait in line. WHAT? It leaves at 755 and there is no way I'm going to catch waiting in this line. This is unacceptable for my girlfriend so goes finds Southwests phone number. Gets two tickets on the 10:10 flight. For only $269. This is after berating the woman at Customer service in India. I have no idea what she said, but she said people looked at her, with that "thank god I'm not on the other end of the phone" face. My girlfriend is sweet, but she doesn't take no for an answer. Its one of the many reasons I love her. Now we can wait in line to get any type of refund possible. Finally the first class clerk, not the rude regular class lady, takes care of us. We get refunded for the flight we won't take. 140 bucks. Then run over to the Southwest terminal at BWI, which feels like an oasis to the purgatory the US Airways section was like.

We get our tickets, breeze through security, eat dinner and wait. We get on the plane a Boeing 737, like in the picture above, you know a real airplane. With a airline that serves snacks and doesn't charge $15 a bag, oh wait thats for the first bag. We get in earlier then before with the other plan. I run to to the arrival board to see that Philly to Buffalo flight. CANCELED. HA! I knew it. Screw you US Airways. I hope to never use you again. Southwest to the rescue.

So to the Customer service who refused to get us on any other airline thats not in their "Star Alliance" screw you. If you just helped us get another flight I wouldn't be mad. But my girlfriend did all the work. Making it easy for you to give the refund. Thanks for nothing. You just were put with Continental on my do not fly list.

Southwest once again you made me happy. Even with your crazy boarding procedure.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Going to DC

There won't be any updates from me for the next few days as I take a vacation to Washington DC till sunday. I am going with the Girlfriend and its our first real trip together. So it will be nice not to make the bed in the morning and just not have to worry about work for the rest of the week. All that time for several years I didn't take any vacations, I am using now. Its time to travel around baby. WOOOOO.

Also I'll be back right in time for camp starting. I'm sure the Sabres will release some kind of news and the Bisons might do something while I'm gone.

Hey while I'm gone why don't you get nostalgic and read old entries. No? Ok then screw you. See you guys monday.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Training Camp starts this week.

Oh boy its that time of year, no I'm not talking about the Fair, its training camp time. Football fans rejoice as the guys hit the sleds, and sleep in dorm rooms after practice. The long offseason is almost at an end. And the Sabres move to the back burner, and we start talking about who will be the 3rd TE and the Nickel corner this year. I don't think I'll be able to head down to St John Fisher this year, but I recommend it. It was at camp I bought a Lee Evans jersey. He was that good as a rookie that day. Hopefully James Hardy will inspire some else to make a purchase that probably isn't that smart.

So what will be the issues at camp this year?

1) Marshawn and the hit and run.

You know the media is going to be all over him about this for first couple days. Hopefully he'll be ready to deal with it. Saying it was a mistake, I apologized and I'm moving on, and I'm here to get better and get the Bills into the playoffs.

2) How does the defense look?

Obviously the defense was awful last year, look at the stats, they were baaaaaad. So they instead of making splashy moves, made smart moves. Trading for a player they need in Stroud. Drafting corners and other need on defense. Signing veteran depth guys, like Spencer Johnson and Will James. Brought in a Kawika Mitchell who can only help Paul Pozlusny. There are now a good mix of young guys and older guys on defense. But how do they mesh?

3) Trent Edwards

This is a very important training camp for Edwards. Now with the new offensive coordinator, how quick he picks up the new offense and meshing with the WR's, especially James Hardy. The Bills and Bills fans can not put up with a crappy year from the QB's.

4) Tight Ends

Well I always feel the QB make TE's great, unless they are the Antonio Gates of the world. But the Bills need to utilize the position. They were terrible in the red zone, and I feel this is where the good TE's excel. Tight spaces where their height over linebackers is key. They seem high on Derek Fine, so maybe he can be that 20 to 30 catch guy that helps out Trent when things are tight.

5) Contract extensions

The Bills gave Kyle Williams and extension, but they really have to work on Lee Evans and Jason Peters. Lee is in his final year and will get an outrageous contract in the offseason. He is a captain and a star. Without Lee Evans this is a sorry group of wide receivers. Jason Peters has 3 years left, but has turned into a pro bowler. You could say he should honor the contract. But contract numbers are a source of pride in the NFL and you can't your left tackle all mopey that he isn't paid like he should be. Give him the money, make him happy, plus you lock down a big time tackle for a long time.

Some of the questions will be answered and some will have to wait till midseason. But its great to see football back.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Appartantly Darcy Regier doesn't read my blog

I so don't want to play for Detroit

Well after posting this piece on how it would be wise to wait and sign Ryan Miller (though I thought they would sign him) Darcy Regier has to go show me up and make me look like a Jerk. Thanks Darcy. Big pal. I'm one of your biggest fans, and you gotta go show me up. It better be at a good rate and not some 5 year deal worth 35 million or I will lay into you.

Well Ryan signed a 5 year extension. So we got "Mr Softey" till I'm 33. I'm sure the details will leak out later in the day. But this does look positive on the Pominville side right? Miller signed, Gaustad signed. These are the guys that were in Rochester together in the lockout. It looks to me they are trying to lock down this crew. Which isn't the worst idea in the world. Guys will tend to do a lot for people that are their friends. Does Pominville want to ruin that for Money? Well if he has another great year. There will be a crazy offer sheet no doubt next summer.

So Bucky Gleason what do you have to say about this? Mmmmm.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Looking at the Schedule

Everyone loves schedule day, because its that energy flowing, you start making plans about which game you wanna go to. Hey thats probably a value game or mmm road trip?

Well its out and theres some issues.

1) Who made up the January part of this thing? Really only 3 home games?

Thursday January 1 @ Toronto 7:00 PM
Saturday January 3 @ Boston 1:00 PM
Tuesday January 6 OTTAWA 7:00 PM
Friday January 9 NY RANGERS 7:30 PM
Saturday January 10 @ Detroit 7:00 PM
Wednesday January 14 @ Chicago 8:30 PM
Thursday January 15 @ Dallas 8:30 PM
Saturday January 17 CAROLINA 7:00 PM
Monday January 19 @ Florida 7:30 PM
Wednesday January 21 @ Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Tuesday January 27 @ Edmonton 9:00 PM
Wednesday January 28 @ Calgary 8:00 PM
Saturday January 31 @ Phoenix 9:00 PM
Monday February 2 @ Anaheim 10:00 PM

Plus the Florida road trip followed by a Albertan excursion, then back to warmer climates. That doesn't seem good on the body. But they'll have some golfing to do after the Calgary game. And that 3 game stretch against Detroit, Chicago and Dallas is a rough one.

2) Who from the West is coming here?

We all know the Eastern teams that are coming here, but which West teams are paying a visit to HSBC this year?

10/17 Vancouver
11/12 St Louis
11/14 Columbus
12/1 Nashville
12/19 Los Angeles
2/13 San Jose
2/24 Anaheim
3/6 Phoenix
4/6 Detroit

Ehhh, the Columbus game should be a Value, but its on Friday, same deal for LA and Phoenix. Games that are on good days, will be more expensive then the crappier days of the week. The Anaheim game is on a Tuesday and thats a game of interest for me and after last year nothing will get me to the Columbus game.

3) When can you buy tickets?

Well it looks like individuals go on sale 9-20-2008. Which seems kinda late. But oh well. I look for a lot of Gold and Silver games, with several value this year. I think they need all the ticket revenue they need. Its nice they have so much money now, but there won't be many cheap games anymore. Especially with old time value games turning into marquee games due to talent. Tampa might not be cheap anymore. But Florida games on Wednesday and Thursday in March will be cheap, so if you want to see the Sabres on the potential stretch run, mark those down. Monday April 6 vs Detroit should be interesting. The Atlanta games are on a Friday and Saturday so they won't be as cheap as they should be. Monday Oct 27 vs Ottawa, probably a early Bronze game.

Well hopefully I'll get to a couple games this year. They went 0-3 last year when I went. So maybe its best if I stay away from HSBC this year.

Is Ryan Miller worth the money?

With the recent signings that pretty much dealt with the RFA's, really the only news besides the schedule, is how the extension of Pominville and Miller are going. I personally think that resigning Pominville is more the necessity then Miller. Hes a two way player that can score 30 goals and is turning into a leader. Miller is a goalie who when the defense struggled, struggled himself. A great goalie overcomes a weakness in his defense. Like a Hasek or a Tomas Vokoun in Florida. People can show his wins and whatever, and maybe he had an off year. But do you take that chance and all that money to see if last year was a fluke or if the years prior were a fluke? Thats why you wait for a contract extension for Miller. December or January. Lets see how he starts, he gets a 2 month audition for a giant contract. You tell him that to see how he responds to an opportunity to make giant cash. Anyways.

I've been interested by the site

Its basically one guys attempt to merge Moneyball with hockey, well I guess he would be the Bill James of Hockey. And in his research on the year. There was an interesting tidbit based on goaltending.

Philadelphia (+41) found a keeper in Martin Biron and made the playoffs. The
Sabres (-17) saw him as their number two goalie, let him go and missed the
playoffs. Biron (.918) played much better than Ryan Miller (.906) in 2008.

The plus and minus he is referring to is, Marginal goals. Which is Goals for minus goals against. You may go, well of course the number would go down, since they lost a lot of offense. But did Phillys defense really get that much better? And looking at a rather interesting number will show that the Sabres had to score just to win. In Marginal goals per Point, the Sabres had the 2nd highest number in the league just ahead of the LA Kings with 2.8 goals per point. Who we all know have terrible goaltending. The Islanders had the lowest number, so this stat maybe meaningless. But in tight games the Sabres seemed to be on the wrong end. The Flyers were in the middle of the league and also had a very good number for the Shootout aspect of this stat. Showing their goaltenders were solid in the shootout. Something that Ryan Miller was not last year. In fact he was terrible last year.

Using marginal goals defense, the Sabres were 11th in the league showing the defense wasn't bad and almost top 10 in the league. The top two teams were San Jose and Detroit, who no one can argue aren't good defensive teams. Which brings up once again, that the Offense was 4th in the league, the defense wasn't awful, and ranked 12th in the defensive index, Philly was 5th to last in defensive index, so where was the problem? Its obvious, goaltending.

In looking at the 2007 review, you know the Presidents Cup year, there was an interesting note that rings pretty true in todays NHL.

Although the Sabres ranked number one in the relative importance of their offense, such
an investment is not an obvious way to build a team. Detroit, for one, got to the same
place with a defensive emphasis.

Sure they lost Drury and Briere, but they need to put money into the defense, and that is obvious now. They have offense. Their defense index got better last year, plus the marginal goals per point improved. But still super high. Which in Alan Ryder's research means they are "unlucky" there is no unlucky in hockey, there are times when your goaltender needs to shut it down and Ryan Miller has not shut it down well enough in my opinion.

Signing him to a long term, big money contract might be a big mistake, killing the cap for this team for years to come. But obviously letting him go, will be a huge PR nightmare for the Sabres, that is why only one signing could make up for it. Signing Marty Biron next year to a mid year lower number deal. He's just as good, and is a fan favorite and would take the sting off the Miller situation. But thats a big risk to take. Soooo.....

In the end, the Sabres will sign Miller to the deal, because its better to have a average goaltender being overpaid then nothing in net.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Season Tickets

Well today the Sabres released their Season Ticket renewal rates. And its at 97% which is pretty good since, A) the team is awful and doesn't care about their fans(sarcasm) and B) the local economy is a piece of crap and can't waste their precious extra income on a casino(heavy sarcasm). So why is the renewal so high and why are the Bills season ticket rates higher then they have ever been? If the economy sucks and gas prices are the same as baseball cards (which use to be cheap as well) why are people spending all this extra income on sports entertainment? Is it because people have more money then studies show, since people who live in city proper are poorer then say Clarence, but don't count when calculating average income. I'm out there and theres lots of people in the eastern Northtowns. They are expanding Transit because of the traffic. The real reason, Canadians. Their economy is exploding and the local Southern Ontarians come down, spend their extra cash on our local sports teams and in our local stores.

Their is a reason why the Bills are playing a game in Toronto, sure Bills fans might not like it, but it shows the braintrust at 1 Bills drive is intelligent and actually decent at Business. Russ Brandon might not last with the Bills long, since other teams will see what he can do for a small market and can only imagine what he could do in say Houston or LA. These numbers show, that the Buffalo sports fan and Business leader should embrace our Canadian brothers and form stronger bonds. It will only improve the local area, by tapping into extra cash.

Say what you want about the Sabres and not retaining players, I would understand not resigning Miller to a long deal, but they know business. They know how to operate a franchise. There is a waiting list for season tickets! You couldn't give them away for free years ago. Know people are paying to wait in line to possibly spend thousands of dollars. Who are these people and where did they come from? Sometimes you have to pull yourself back from the irrational parts of sports into the rational side. What would you want, a team thats financially sound and will stay or a team that wins but is in the red and threatening to move all the time? I'll take the the financially sound one. Sure the Bills are the ones operating in the black and threaten. But if it means playing 1 or 2 games in Toronto a year, the cold weather games I assume, isn't that better then losing the team outright? You pay less for season tickets, you get to have the good weather games, and you still have a team 30 minutes or less away.

Sports is a business, and business goes where the money is. It also means operating within your means. Thats what good businesses do. I want my sports teams to operate like a good business.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm getting conflicted.

A Picture that frightens Bills Fans

Well last week the Bills held a rally in Toronto to promote their series of games. They sent the Jills and the team MVP( in my eyes) Brian Moorman. (ed note. Brian how could stab the fans in the back. I thought you were more then a Yes man.) Well according to the Bills in Toronto blog, the whole event was a success. YAY! Wait, no BOOOOOO! I can't decide whether thats good or bad.

The Jills, who performed and mingled with downtown commuters at Brookfield Place (Bay and Front streets), were also joined by Bills mascot Billy Buffalo.

“I think it is safe to say that Toronto has Bills fever,” said Sarah, a Jills member who was born in nearby Hamilton. “The excitement here is palpable.”

Wait there are Canadian Jills? They have infiltrated the ranks. They must be stopped. I had Bills fever once, but thank god you watch them play a little, and its all cured. And if the Bills move, does Billy Buffalo's name change to Billy Toronto?

“I’m really excited about our upcoming games in Toronto,” said Moorman. “I am a punter, so I’m a little more excited than most of the guys to have a roof over the field, but the whole team is really excited. This is a beautiful city.”

What are you trying to say Brian? Buffalo isn't beautiful? You want a roof? Who are you, and where did you come from? I thought I could trust you and you'd just sell us out for a roof? Ill show you a roof.

I know the money is helping the franchise, maybe buy more players, be a more competitive team in this league. But it doesn't take away the fear the team will move. I like the fact I can see the NFL 20 minutes from here. That its affordable, in a non affordable league. But what can I say the times are a changing, the blue collar league is turning into a game for the corporate suits. Well until the players take a firm stand in what they want. And demand more. They must see that all their contracts are never really honored and its just smoke and mirrors. They know they are being led along by a owner stooge in Gene Upshaw. They break their backs for this league and find out 10 years later, the union wants nothing to do with them. I love football, but part of me wants a strike, I want the NFL to feel the pain and I want them to suffer. Show the Fans what they are missing on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in the fall. But I know a strike will only benefit the owners and not the Players. Management has the cash to outlast the players.

But what am I, a small market fan, in a large market league. We don't matter. The suits matter. And I'll watch my team move a couple hours north, push ticket prices to what I can't afford, and the wait will be forever. I'll have to decide to turn my back on years of fandom and the players I root for, or to suck it up and be a Toronto Bills fan. I hope its not soon, because I know they won't give Buffalo another franchise. But I guess I can enjoy the fall foliage then, and get stuff done on Sundays. Because I won't want to watch the Toronto Bills vs the Patriots. Because I won't want either team to win.

Yuck, a Leafs fan next to Billy Buffalo.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Taste of Buffalo

Oh boy my favorite festival is here. I love the taste and can't wait to go tomorrow. I know it will be hot but so what. And tickets keep going up. 8 ticket items. Thats crazy. But still you can get full on 15 bucks if you plan it well.

Event guide and map is here, along with who is serving what.

I know its not sports related but I don't care. I'd go all day all weekend long if I could. But my time is tomorrow with my girlfriend. I have printed out a map, and I will plan my attack. Maybe the Taste is a competition after all.

See you there

Fam1ly F1rst

Bills players throwing up Gang Signs. Better then White girls I guess.

I was reading Chris Brown's Blog on, and he had a article on Marshawn hosting a Football camp. Ok, thats great but it was a Fam1ly F1rst camp. What's Fam1ly F1rst? Besides misspelling words with numbers, which would make a grammar teacher have a stroke. Well it looks like one of those groups that tries to market kids to colleges, like Ted Ginn Sr does. But this is the west coast version. And it looks like Marshawn is his prize disciple.

AJ Jackson seems to run this organization and 7th round pick Steve Johnson is also a Fam1ly F1rst member. (ed note, its really hard to type that) So are the Bills bringing in this guys recruits. I like the idea of a mentor, but this guy looks like he is making a living on the talent of the athletes. They have merchandise and camp and whatever you can think of from a husband and wife mentor business. Oh sports mentoring, because mentoring regular kids is a waste of time.

My question is who does Marshawn listen to for all his advice? Did he listen to his lawyer during the "hit and run" thing or was "Coach Jack" the one telling him what to do. Because as Mr Lynch states.

"Its been great having Coach Jack as a mentor the last few years, I look at him as a member of my family." Marshawn Lynch

This guy is family to Marshawn. Thats important. Was it Coach Jack telling him to wait it out. Don't talk to anyone, while the lawyer gave other advice? We will never know. I'm just weary of these mentors. They operate on the same level as cult leaders. They tried to guide you on some path and when you make it, they want their cut, because "they helped you" And by that time, I'm sure they have totally gotten in their heads. Marshawn is running this camp. He's the star attraction. So when its time for a new contract, who is he going to listen to, his agent? Or Coach Jack, who I know would love him in the Bay area. And by that time Frank Gore has probably run himself in the ground and the Bills are looking for a new star tailback.

Seriously what mentor lists these as goals?

  • To provide the best customer service possible
  • To make each client feel like the only client
  • To help our clients feel more confident
  • To assist young football players in preparation for high school football
  • To provide assistance to student athletes with recruiting
  • To provide a marketing plan to help expose student athletes to various universities nationwide

  • Thats not a mentoring service thats a marketing agency! How about making them better people or caring about school?

    I just don't trust these people. I know he probably cares about his clients, but I feel its probably just a way to make money without really working. If an athlete is good these days really how hard would it be to get them recruited? Especially in California where high school football is huge.

    Well its nice to know Marshawn puts Family First and Canadian pedestrians second.

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Hey there Bills

    Hey we are like 2 weeks till the Bills report to training camp. Which is always exciting for every Bills fan. That beginning of the year hope, before you watch this team blow leads in October and question why you root for this organization. While the Sabres talk will die down in late July and August the Bills talk will build and build. Talk about rookies signing, how does Marcus Stroud look and whether or not Derek Fine is the answer at TE. But the Big Bills news from the week was the Donte Whitner guarantee. The article really is about Whitner helping out McKelvin and showing him the ropes, and then throws in the "I guarantee we're making the playoffs" Personally I love it. I want my team to be cocky. To feel they are going to win every week. I have no problem with it.

    Well the Bills signed rookie Steve Johnson, who has made a name for himself already as a Bill. As Marshawn's copilot in the infamous "hit and run". Well looking at things Mr Johnson also likes to rap. So their might be a competition to the WGR Bills rap. Which I always enjoy. And would love a training camp edition. Steve, take it away

    Language is strong, as you would expect with most rap songs


    Well also they handed out another reup. To Kyle Williams. Wait wait wait. 14 million over 3 years for Kyle Williams. I like Kyle Williams. But is he worth that much money. Plus they resigned Brad Butler. Ok, now we work on Lee Evans and Jason Peters.

    Ohhh I see why they signed Brad Butler, he "plays to the whistle"

    But other then that the news on the Bills front is pretty quiet, especially after the Marshawn saga ended. Now they get to roll into St John Fisher and people can try to make cases why some rookie free agent will make the team, when in reality they have no shot. Hopefully sometime in the summer I'll head out to St John Fisher. Really its a fun time.

    Hey its been months since James Hardy pulled a gun on anyone! Thats a good sign right?

    Wednesday, July 9, 2008

    Typical Sabre fan opening up todays Buffalo News.

    (In break room, local Sabre fan opens up todays Buffalo News and sees this article about Tom Golisano)

    Sabre Fan: Wait, WHAT? 5 million dollars for political candidates. What about free agents? He could have used that on BROOKS ORPIK!

    Coworker: Well he does have other interests and its an interesting idea.

    Sabre Fan: BROOKS ORPIK!!!!

    Coworker: Well he's not worth that much anyway, the trade for Rivet made much more sense.

    Sabre Fan: They could have had Brian Campbell for 5 million dollars! 5 for 25!!!!!

    Coworker: Well thats what the agent offered, you don't just agree to what ever an agent asks, thats not good business.

    Sabre Fan: You're not good business.

    Coworker: (Looks puzzled) I better at the job then you are, so your statement is wrong.

    Sabre Fan: Whatever, this is proof that Golisano is cheap and doesn't care about the Sabres. He'd rather spend it on this crap. Might as well throw it down the drain. Brooks Oprik would have been awesome.

    Coworker: Actually this is probably a better use of his money, since it can bring in change to Albany. Where change is really needed. Brooks Orpik probably wouldn't be that much more of an impact then Craig Rivet will be on the defense. Plus you get a guy under a good contract for several years. Its good business.

    Sabre Fan: (Getting angry at use of logic) What do you know, you probably don't even know hockey. I was on the Wheatfield Blades as a kid.

    Coworker: Really, I was on the Amherst Knights, then St Joes, then played a little at college. I wasn't very good, so I had to focus on my career.

    Sabre Fan: Whatcha you play, Left out (giggles to himself)

    Coworker: I was a center actually.

    Sabre Fan: ANYWAY, its obvious that Mr Moneybags, rather spend it on some crappy politicians then make the Sabres a cup winner. Its just a business to him. If I owned the Sabres they would be awesome. I'd have all these great players, like Drury, Briere and Campbell. We'd win the cup every year.

    Coworker: How would fit them all under the cap?

    Sabre Fan: 5 for 25 dummy.

    Coworker: You'd have like 11 players.

    Sabre Fan: We'd be so awesome thats all we would need.

    Coworker: I hope to God, you never run this company.

    Sabre Fan: Don't even get me started on what I would do to improve this dump.

    (Coworker gets up and goes back to work)

    Sabre Fan: WHAT! Jason Smith signed with the Sens. We totally should have signed him too. He's only 5 million for 2 years. What is Darcy doing. Darcy totally sucks. Screw this, I can't read this anymore.

    (Sabre Fan crumples up newspaper, throws it away and goes back to work)

    So Bisons why you so terrible?

    Hey guys, sorry I haven't really seen a game this year, kinda busy and all. But I do follow along and see the news. So you guys aren't very good this year. But why? Is it because I'm not there to watch or is it the play on the field?

    Well at least your not last in the league, right? Yes I know you're 17 games out of first and the playoffs are a long shot. But the Indians could have more firesales and some of you could make the majors by the end of the year. (Looks at stats) Oh yikes. Well Cabrera is probably going back to Cleveland soon, since hes hitting .333. And the Tribe couldn't a tee ball at this point. Hey how is that former all star doing, you know Morgan Ensberg? Oh hes hitting .170 with 2 rbi's. Yeah hes done. Why did Cleveland sign him again? Did they feel sorry for him or did they have hope. Or is he there for the kids? (Looks over more stats) Wait, how does a LF have 10 errors? How do they even get errors? Besides not knowing how to catch pop flys.

    Well so how was the pitching, before the year the staff was looking like something to head down to the ballpark. Wait wheres Laffey, Sowers, Miller? Oh Laffey and Sowers are in Cleveland and Miller got hurt again. Well if it weren't for the Sabbathia trade Sowers would be in Buffalo again, he is horrible this year. Who know Cliff Lee was their best pitcher. The best pitcher on the Herd? Probably Edward Buzachero, (what happened to Bubbie) who apparently starts and can save games. This is one of those perfect minor league pitchers that can do it all. His WHIP ain't too bad neither is the ERA. Maybe he'll find his way to Cleveland and work his way on the Tribe. Who are just as bad as the Bisons are, this year.

    If only the Indians sent someone to help the Bisons woes. Mmmm, what? Jeff Weaver? Oh thats just mean. Seriously. Juan Rincon now Jeff Weaver? They really want the Bisons to leave don't they. Who's next Hidecki Irabu?

    Well I'm sure I'll head down to the ballpark eventually. Bisons games are usually a good time. Maybe next year, they'll have a parent who cares about them.

    Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    If Bucky Gleason was a blogger.

    Don't look at me like that

    Oh boy another editorial on Sabres management by a newspaper columnist in something less then the Buffalo News. Hopefully he agrees with me, good ol Bucky Gleason. Because we all know I speak the truth when it deals with the Sabres.

    Numbers dispel theory the Sabres are Cheap

    Wait is that supposed to be sarcastic?

    It’s amazing how one resplendent mistake can mislabel an organization. Yes, the Sabres have gone techie in their scouting approach, foregoing overpriced airline tickets for a quiet night in front of the big screen. And yes, they’ve decided not to make splashy unrestricted free-agent signings, although that’s hardly proven a sure-fire recipe for success in today’s NHL (see the meager accomplishments of the Rangers and Leafs).

    Again, are you trying to make sense here? I don't like where this is going.

    And sure, they swapped an all-star defenseman at the trade deadline when it was obvious he wouldn’t sign at a reasonable rate.

    But 5 FOR 25! 5/25! 5/25!

    But truth be told, the Sabres aren’t cheap. They’ve tried to be innovative, and have indeed been frugal with free agent dollars, but just a tiny bit of number crunching shows this cheapskate reputation is unfounded.

    Wait innovative? Number Crunching? You are going to use facts to prove a point? AHHHHH!!!!

    Of the four teams with 19 players signed, the Sabres have the highest payroll. Their current cap hit is just over $46 million, and three teams with more players under contract have lower payrolls. Buffalo has plenty of wiggle room — about $10 million right now — but hardly so much that it’s embarrassing.

    But they don't spend money on Marian Hossa and people don't want to be here, because they don't spend money on people. How can they not be cheap. Who cares how much they have spent, its how much they don't spend. His reasoning is making my head hurt!

    They like Paul Gaustad’s grit and paid him accordingly. They weren’t getting enough from Dmitri Kalinin and showed him the door. They wanted another affordable, but capable defenseman, and swung a smart deal for Craig Rivet. They couldn’t get a fair offer for Maxim Afinogenov, so they’ll give him another chance.

    There have not been, and have almost never been, impulse buys when it comes to the Sabres.

    Expect Jason Pominville to get a long-term deal in the next few months, and Ryan Miller to follow. Miller’s will be for bigger bucks, but both are cornerstones of the future.

    But what about Drury? Briere? Campbell?????? They totally didn't get anything for Kalinin. But no impulse buys shows that the Sabres aren't a real organization. How are players supposed to respect them if they don't give out ridiculous contracts to overrated players? Pominville and Miller will sign? But they are cheap.

    If the Sabres felt there was a good chance they were losing Miller, they’d have scooped up McCollum, who was one of the highest players left on the board when they took Tyler Ennis with their second first-round pick. The Sabres decided against taking a goalie in all eight picks.

    It’s just another sign that Regier and Quinn don’t waver from their master plan.

    Master Plan? HAHAHAHAHA, to what embarrass the city of Buffalo? (High fives Jerry Sullivan)

    So why do teams feel the Sabres are unreasonable?

    Simple. Since they gambled and missed on Chris Drury, it snowballed into losing Danny Briere. That gave an ugly tinge to Brian Campbell’s departure, even though it wound up a shrewd maneuver.

    Finally, some sense here. Its obvious the Sabres organization doesn't know what they are doing and should let ol' Bucky here take the reigns. I totally would win a bazillion cups if I were the Gm. 5/25 for everyone around!

    The Sabres are in good shape in almost every regard. There’s plenty of young talent, a decent amount of cap space and expiring contracts in Afinogenov, Tim Connolly and Ales Kotalik that will only help the future landscape.

    Will solid footing be enough to convince the rest of the league they’re on the right path? Tough to say.

    Sometimes a few bad steps make it look like you’re always stumbling.

    Wait, good shape? In every regard? What are you doing Schmitt? Trying to make the people in Buffalo trust in this organization? You are ruining years of work of mine, to try to be GM of the Sabres. Have you not read my work? Its brilliant and thats why you work at the Niagara Gazette? Who reads that?

    Well time to go back to my new column on how overpaying players is going to ruin the NHL.

    Monday, July 7, 2008

    Rollin' on the Rivet

    Yes I can create awful tag lines like a newspaper can.

    Well as I was enjoying the weekend, I noticed on Saturday morning, that the Sabres actually made some moves. First was the Bernier trade. I was like what? For picks. mmmm. Then a little farther down it was a trade for Craig Rivet. Nice. You lose the 2nd coming of Taylor Pyatt in Bernier. You know the ladies love him, yet he disappears for games on end, and then ship him to Vancouver. Where he'll be a 20 goal scorer. Good for him. Could care less about Vancouver.

    But then using the trade assets for a physical vet defensemen in Craig Rivet. Of course moves no one saw coming and you go, mmm a guy signed at 3.5 for a few years for basically a RFA who you probably would have paid 3.5 million a year anyway. I say you get more from Rivet then from Bernier. So thats a win. Lets look at Mr Rivet's career.

    Well isn't a super offensive guy but with 35 points last year and 34 points in each of the two previous years. He's almost a half a point a game guy when healthy. And since the lockout he's played a majority of the games. Also a guy thats not afraid to mix it up. You know who he had more points then last year? Steve Bernier. He also had 1 less point in the playoffs then Brian Campbell last year.

    I like

    Andrew Peters should watch that on a loop.

    Ok, maybe Andrew Peters found a one way ticket outta here.

    And now Rayzor?

    Well Ray got him there.

    Well I'm pretty happy with this acquisition. Not quite sure if they are done. I know they would love unload some more forwards, but not ones they really want. Bernier was a player I'm sure they didn't mind parting ways with, if it meant someone they wanted in their price range.

    Even if it meant forcing someone to come here, even though no one wants to be here. Because its so terrible.

    Thursday, July 3, 2008

    So is Darcy the worst ever?

    The answer to that question is no. But listening to one Howard Simon, who as he gets older gets dumber. Really I listen to the show. Yes it hurts my brain half the time and it makes me angry. I guess thats the point of Newspaper columnists and radio guys to get people angry and make them stupid. But seriously Darcy knows what he is doing. He has a plan. He won't listen to public pressure. He won't bow to public pressure. That is exactly what you want your GM to be. He doesn't go out and sign guys to make press, (cough) Tom Donohoe (cough). He has a budget to work with. And if people see they have 46 million signed right now with players to sign. If its 50, mmm, quick math geniuses, not a ton of money. Lowe really screwed over this team with that Vanek offer sheet.

    But its like listening to 10 year old kids. WHY DIDN'T YOU GET ANYTHING????(Stomp stomp stomp, pout) Darcy is like that responsible parent that won't spoil you with shiny toys, and want to do your homework, because in the end you'll be better off. Sure you'll hate him now, but when you are getting scholarships and not having to pay for school for 20 years, you'll see how good he really was. And thats the point with Darcy hes the thinking mans GM. He's the guy that doesn't see the need to spend lots of money on guys, you may already have on the farm. Leaving the fan, going Whats going on? Why aren't you doing anything? PANIC PANIC PANIC!!!!!!

    When has Darcy ever signed anyone flashy in free agency? Teppo? He makes quality trades that somehow better the team while shifting money around. Its like a great signing without really spending money. Its how good business is run. Briere for Gratton. Drury for Warrener and Reinprecht, who was never on the team. Now he has excess forwards on the team. So he has trade bait. And for all those that said trade Kalinin, now hes free to be picked up, look at all the action on him. Obviously he has zero value. When the market starts thinning out, is when you make your moves. Well that guy is gone, so I guess we trade someone for something we really want. And thats why the Dan Boyle rumors are so strange to me. The Lightning without Dan Boyle are terrible. But I don't know if Dan Boyle is that much worse then Brian Campbell. Brian Campbell to me is an emotional trainwreck, and heres my prediction, the weight of a huge contract will get to him. Lucky hes in a market that doesn't care too much about hockey right now. In Toronto he'd have a nervous breakdown.

    Yes I would love to for the Sabres to do something. It would make great news. But I don't want them to do something crazy. So I'm going to let Darcy do what he needs to do, give him time, trust in what his plan.

    Whats the record under the Regier Regime?
    I have ties and ot losses as the same. To make things look good

    Wins 362
    Losses 302
    ties/OT 107

    Thats pretty good for a small market team that lives under the budget. If things go well this year he'll reach 400 wins this season. Thats pretty good in my eyes. This team has been under standard operation with Regier for 10 years. They have a winning record. They make the playoffs. They have reached 4 Eastern Conference finals. When will people just give Darcy the benefit of the doubt? Oh wait never, because people hate not being able to control things. But for me Darcy, you can do whatever you want. I'll wait.

    Wednesday, July 2, 2008

    Interesting basketball article.

    A story thats so important that its a sports story in the City and Region part, or sports fans don't care so its in the city and region section?

    But it looks like a Raptors preseason game and possibly a regular season game will be played in Buffalo, starting in 2009. As the Raptors try to expand the fanbase by coming to the NBA hotbed that is Buffalo Niagara. Oh wait no one cares about the NBA? Well I'd go to this. It would be fun and the Raptors are going to be decent. And probably would bring interest to the NBA in this area again.

    Of course who is behind it, non other then the News editor Stanford "right of the 1800's" Lipsey and Chuck Schumer.

    Following efforts begun by Lipsey, Schumer spoke with Raptors Chairman Larry Tannenbaum about the possibility of bringing some National Basketball Association games to HSBC Arena as early as the fall of 2009.

    “They’re very eager about having some of their games played in Buffalo,” Schumer said Tuesday while in Wyoming County.

    Lipsey said the Raptors are “very interested, and I would expect us to get a preseason game in 2009.”

    How about regular-season games?

    “I wouldn’t say it’s done, but I think it’s on the table,” Schumer replied.

    This story has come out of nowhere and it shows when one man has an idea, like hey they get one of our games, lets get some of their games. And since Mr Tannenbaum is involved in the Bills Toronto game, and owns the Raptors, and the Leafs. Oh no, should we as Buffalo Sports fans get involved with a man who has an interest in the Laffs?

    Personally I think its a great idea. I would love to go to a Raptors game, and would probably make me a Raptors fan, since I am a NBA free agent. Sure they have a dumb mascot. The color scheme ain't so hot and I don't know much about them. But hey they play here, I'm more apt to root for this team.

    Some people are starting to imagine how good it would be for Buffalo to link itself to Toronto. Look at New Jersey, its linked itself to NYC and Philly, its a state that does pretty well for itself for having really nothing good about it. If they get some of our football and we get some of their basketball. (Hey how about some blue jays games?) You can keep the Leafs though we got our own thanks.

    Lets see how this story evolves and here's to hoping the NBA makes a return to the Queen city.

    Sifting through the wreckage

    Well its now day 2 in NHL Free agency and the man above is the first Sabre signing of the new season, well outside the organization, and yes I said first. Because its not all about one day. Its a long process. There are deals to be made, plenty of talent out there still. Sure the Sabres might be out of the Orpik race, because they realize they aren't going to pay 5 million for a 3rd defenseman. He doesn't score, and really only has 1 good year, so why should he get that much money again? Sure he's a local kid, but maybe he doesn't want to play here? I still say Steve Montador would be a quality signing. The Sabres don't need a big name defenseman. They need depth. They have a top pair in Lydman and Tallinder. They had a off year, and they'll come back strong next year. What do I know about money know. This is what I said about Jeff Finger a couple days ago "Probably on the cheap side 1.5 to 2 million" THE LEAFS SIGNED HIM TO 4 years 14 million! Jeff welcome to the TO, prepared to get booed heavily.

    Lets look through the TSN signing tracker and see the interesting items that pop out.

    Tampa Bay has gone insane. Unless they are trying to fill out their lineup so their minor league team is better. But they are going to have some training camp issues for sure. And maybe a place to pick up some talent.

    Michael Ryder for 4 million a year? Seriously Boston? That is a terrible signing and Michael Ryder isn't a 2 million a year player.

    Mark Streit is off the market, good, hes garbage.

    Rozsival signed for the exact amount I would predict, the 5 million a year.

    Mike Commodore signed in Columbus. I think he likes playing in a no pressure market.

    Ditto for Cory Stillman

    Someone tell WGR Huet was signed for a little over 4 million a year, not 5. So don't worry about Ryan Miller, his price is the same. Overpaid.

    The Coyotes are going to be decent next year. That Kurt Sauer signing is underrated and a bargain.

    Brian Campbell? Good for him. Good town, hopefully he can lead the resurgence of the Hawks.

    Plenty of good guys left, and I think Darcy is looking to deal and sign. He wants to create room first to bring in guys. I will be just as excited today to see what happens.

    And Bucky?

    Tampa Bay became a destination of choice because the Lightning took a proactive, aggressive approach into the offseason. They had more needs than the Sabres did, but they also wasted little time in addressing them. The Bolts made themselves attractive.

    Nothing about Tampa is attractive, except for the weather. They are going to be bad next year because THEY HAVE NO DEFENSE. And they are looking to ship their best D-man. I seriously don't know what the Lightning are doing.

    Tuesday, July 1, 2008

    Lets do some guesstimating

    I will be trying to assume the role of one Darcy Regier. Ohh look at him there, so happy. He loves the wheeling and dealing. He loves screwing around with the press. Its probably a good day for him. No superstars leaving. Maybe signing someone no one is talking about, because Darcy has less info leak then the CIA. So we gotta guess what the RFA's and the 1 to go UFA's might be getting. Well check out some stats, compare players and their salaries. And we can go from there.

    First its Dan Paille.

    Well Dan Paille finally emerged last year, due to the opportunities of others leaving and injuries. He had 19 goals and 35 points. Was good on the Penalty kill, and I like to think of him as Derek Roy Light. Not as good, not as flashy, but a guy you still need on the team on the 3rd checking line. He's probably a 15 to 25 goal scorer in the future, a guy thats dependable and only 24. So what should he be making?

    Well I went with points instead of goals, because the numbers could flip flop. Mmm a guy like Craig Conroy is a good Dan Paille comparison. Though much older is only getting 1.1 a season from the flames. Matt Stajan is pretty close to Paille, he also is a RFA. If he goes, his deal will influence Paille and vice versa. Colby Armstrong another comparison is only at 1.2. But the Gaustad deal really throws out these lower deals out the window. Paille has better talent and will want a little more. Zubrus deal looks interesting (3.4 million over 6 years), similar stats, similar player but older, so you can cut off what Zubaz got on the open market and work out a deal like a 4 year 12 million contract for Paille.

    1st year 2.5, 2nd year 2.5, 3rd year 3.5, 4th year 3.5. Will take him to 28 where he can test the open waters.

    Steve Bernier

    Tons of potential but still lacking the consistency. Really you can get this guy cheap. The numbers don't back up any major deal. And signing him to anything more then 3 years is a mistake. I won't look at similar players, because I have no idea who you can compare Bernier to. Wait I found it, Michael Ryder. Tons of potential, yet super disappointing. Bernier is much younger so the 3 million that Ryder got last year you can cut and put later in the deal.

    So 3 years 8.5 million. 2 million this year, 3 million then 3.5 million.

    Clarke Macarthur.

    Really easy to sign, no one is coming after him, might even want to wait till arbitration on this one. Clarke has shown flashes, but the demotion to Rochester really stung any big contract for this year. If you can work it out. 2 years 2 million. .8 this year and 1.2 for next.


    Now the big ones.

    Ryan Miller

    This one is going to be big money. Say what you will but they gotta lock him up. Can't hope for Enroth, lock him up and front load it, so if you need to, make it easy to dump 4 years from now. He's not gonna get worse, he probably won't get that much better. So what is fair?

    With wins hes in the top. GAA in the 20's. Sv% even worse. Really his numbers for last year aren't what will be used in the contract negotiation. Because he'd get 3 million a year. Darcy can't wait for the Huet deal. He might want to look at Lundqvist. Which is an interesting deal. Next year he gets 7.75, then its 6.85 then 7.75 again, then 6.85 for the final two years. I really don't think Miller can say hes better then King Henrik. But I'd front the deal. So a 5 year deal at 35 million.

    1st year 7.5million, 2nd 7.5million, 3rd 8 million, 4th 6million, 5th 6 million

    Sabre fans might gag at first, but its gonna have to be that high, to show you value him or he'll walk next year.

    Jason Pominville

    Unfortunately for the Sabres, Pominville had a breakout year last year, before they could give him the Roy deal. So for the bad timing, it will cost the Sabres, to keep one of their more important players.

    Players to look at St Louis, Heatley, Doan, Savard and Mike Richards. (oh no) Those are guys all with huge deals, so the Sabres are going to have to break the bank for Pominville. Well it starts at 5 million per. He really is a good player that will get better. And if you want him to be the face or captain, you gotta pay him too.

    6 years 36 million

    6 million per year. I think thats a fair deal and a steal in 2 years.

    Sabre fans tend to underestimate deals, all it takes is looking at the market and then adding to it. It is what it is, and its all we got.

    Today should be fun though.

    About Me

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    Buffalo, NY, United States
    A Stay at home dad, who has more hot takes then your average stay at home dad.