I've been somewhat dormant lately posting on this blog. Part of it is the lull before the hockey season, the other part is that there has been nothing to comment on of substance about the Sabres in weeks. I think the goosesroast got it right, the most exciting thing the Sabres have done since Mid-August is 'leak' (c'mon now, we all know they wanted to hype up the new jerseys) the new away jerseys for the upcoming season. But it wasn't until I started devoting my free time away from the 9-5 job to NHL 11 that I've come up with this evil, disgraceful yet ingenious plan.
Like most fans this offseason I've become somewhat disgruntled with the front office and their failure to act upon the words they spoon-fed us after the playoff loss. Our nucleus remains the same, we couldn't hold onto either of our 'shutdown' defensemen, and we invest in a 4th line center to replace Adam Mair. Leopold and Morrison have their ups, their downs, and overall do nothing but make me shrug and say "Hey, we still have Ryan Miller." But NHL 11 came out and for once, I got to play the role of Darcy Regier. And boy...have I had fun doing it. I feel like NHL 11 put a "Be a GM" mode just to appease fans like me who would do things differently. Much differently. Like Steve Yzerman i came out to make a splash in free agency. First season I traded Stafford and Connolly away for a pair of second round picks, then signed Kovalchuck to an 8 year, 9 million dollar a year contract. Who cares if the game doesn't put in outside factors like what city he'd want to live in or franchise he deems worthy of his talent. Suck on it Darcy. Suck on that....
So maybe it's just a game. Maybe my head got too big after pulling such deal. But here's where my evil, ingenious plan lies. I couldn't get squat for Connolly and Stafford before the season. But near the trading deadline (after restarting the GM mode because, c'mon, I need to see what draft picks end up being the future Crosbys) I could fetch 1st round draft picks for Connolly. And here-in lies the Benedict Arnold in me as a Sabres fan.
The only way Connolly goes before the deadline is if the Sabres play sellers at the deadline. The only way the Sabres play sellers at the deadline is if the Sabres aren't in contention for a playoff berth. And the sad part is...I'm kinda rooting for this. A Sabres fan rooting against the Sabres?? One of the words in that sentence doesn't belong.
But the fact of the matter is I don't buy NHL Center Ice so I can watch the Sabres lose. I love this team. I miss the city. And will tell anyone at the bar (more adamantly after 5-12 beers) that the Sabres are better than any team they're rooting for. We've got Ryan Miller for Pete's sake and I don't care if all 6 of your friends say differently.
I just have this sick feeling that we'll make the playoffs, maybe win a round if we're lucky, then we'll watch as we get spanked around by a team that, in my opinion, is better built for the playoffs (see: Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston). We'll watch Connolly walk away in free agency. Deem Ennis/Adam the new second line center. Buy some mediocre 3rd line center in free agency next year...and put him on the second line...watch Adam try to fight to make the team....and continue the process all over again. Maybe this new guy will have "heart" that connolly didn't have....but in the end we're counting on Miller to pull a Giguere a la 2003 playoff run and save this team to reach the Stanley Cup.
So here's my toast to the upcoming season. Raise your glasses with me as I say: Here's to the 2010-11 Buffalo Sabres season. May you bless with us by playing into the Conference Finals. And if not, may you bless us with new hope and drastic change in 2011-12. And a draft pick for Connolly would be nice.