It's only two more days until the Buffalo Sabres will take the ice to begin training camp for the 2007-2008 season. The anticipation is growing and we are all getting extremely excited to watch some hockey (in fact I told my wife yesterday to start saving the pennies because I needed to get Center Ice). I thought I would start out today by scanning the web for some good Sabres stuff to share with you.
Sabres New Jerseys
The Buffalo News had a story on the new jerseys being worn by every team in the NHL this season. It appears that the Sabres decided to keep things the same with a few minor alterations because of the new design.
Unlike many other teams that have trotted out redesigned uniforms in recent weeks, the Sabres barely have changed the look of theirs. The only differences are the inherent changes to the uniform itself: the sleeker material, longer arms and an NHL logo on the Vneck.
The same logo the Sabres unveiled last year will be on the crest, with the sword-pierced "B" on the shoulders and numbers on the right breast (Campbell slipped into a generic version Tuesday that didn’t include a number). The colors are identical, too.
This is all well and good but why in the hell did they have to wait to tell us that. It drives me crazy that the franchise is so secretive. If they would be more willing to share information with the fans the fans would not always think the worst (like with the Drury and Briere situation).
There will be no throwback jersey because the league has decided with the production of all the new jerseys it would have been to difficult to make third jerseys as well. That is what they are saying publicly but lets be honest it's about money. Every team has new jerseys in some capacity so the fans will be buying them as quickly as they can, when the sales slow down here comes the third jersey to pick the sales back up. It's really some genius marketing but we are smart people you don't have to lie to us.
The Neil Show
I'm a little bit late on this bit but if you haven't seen this piece it's a pretty good read. NHL Digest.com has a feature they call the Neil show and they had an opportunity to discuss the Sabres with Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. It's really a great piece and I agree with most of what Graham has to say outside of one part of the interview.
TheNeilShow -In your opinion, did Chris Drury really want to play with Buffalo?
Tim Graham-Without question he wanted to stay. When the Sabres botched his contract negotiations last fall his wariness of the way the Sabres do business was heightened. For the first time, it got him thinking about going elsewhere when the season was over. Even so, Buffalo remained his first choice when the Sabres were eliminated. But then the front office went into hibernation and left everybody hanging for weeks. That’s when he wrote them off.
I think that Drury made it abundantly clear he didn't want to play in Buffalo because he took close to the same money to play with the Rangers. This story about what went on during the season is irrelevant because at that point neither side had any idea what the salary cap was going to be and it's obvious that no deal was ever struck.
Lindy Ruff Interview on WGR55
Howard Simon and Jeremy White from WGR55 had an opportunity to catch up with Lindy ruff this morning as the team prepares for camp. He had some interesting things to say about some added pressure on Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy getting more ice time, Tim Connolly being an offensive boost in the absence of Drury and Briere and Drew Stafford will be expected to have a good season with the Sabres.
"Tim was a big time player for us until he got hurt in the playoffs the previous year," he said. "Training has gone real well. He looks great, said he feels great. In a lead role, I'm excited about seeing what Tim can do if he stays healthy."
I couldn't agree more Lindy, connolly was at the top of his game when he was knocked out by Peter Schaefer in the 2006 playoffs. I will be watching closely to what Timmy can do as well.
Sabres Contract Negotiations
The Buffalo News also had a story on the Sabres contract negotiations with upcoming free agents Brian Campbell, Jochen Hecht and Dmitri Kalinin. Let's hope that the Sabres really do have a new policy regarding in season negotiation because they are going to need to lock up Campbell quickly. I would like to see Hecht signed as well, I think he brings more to the team than he is given credit for. I could care less about Kalinin, I'm hoping he is beat out by Paetsch and Sekera for the sixth and seventh defenseman and he is shown the door. I have had enough of his inconsistent play, sure he can go stretches when he is the best defenseman on the ice but others he is by far the worst and I'm tired of it.
That should be enough reading to hold you over for now. The veterans will report to camp for physicals tomorrow and Friday the full team will take the ice for the first time of the 2007-2008 season. The first preseason game will take place next Friday september 21 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.