What would you get the Sabres for Christmas?
Put a present under the tree at First Niagara Center
Handsome gifts with festive trimBring smiles of sweet content,But modest gifts of humble meansare ofttimes heaven sent.Whether it be large or small,Each gift will share in partThe message of true Christmas joyIf given from the heart!
(From "Christmas Giving", a poem by Iris W. Bray)
So for this Christmas, if you could gift the Buffalo Sabres anything or anyone in the world, what would you give the team? The writers at Die By The Blade chime in with their opinions here, let's hear your ideas in the comments below.
"If you could get the Sabres organization one thing for Christmas, what would it be?"
If I could get the Sabres one thing for Christmas, it would be a willingness to have more fun off the ice. So many amazing things have happened to this franchise over the past few years, from the Pegulas, to HARBORCenter, to Eichel, Murray, and all the rest, but in the drive to turn Buffalo into Hockey Heaven, the Sabres have seemed to place far more of an emphasis on classiness and opulence than fun and creativity.
As much as I love Beyond Blue & Gold, #OneBuffalo, and the Draft coming to town, I also long for the days of Drew Stafford's workout video, or the Sabres Carnival, or souvenir cup giveaways, or theme nights. Sabres fans have long complained that the games at the First Niagara Library are boring and that the team doesn't give any reasons to go to the games aside from the product on the ice, which hasn't been great in recent years.
It's important for an organization to have history and class, but right now the team seems too focused on improving everything but the fan experience. Other teams around the league have shown that it's possible to be creative and goofy while still being regarded as a high-class organization, and the Sabres need to stop assuming their brand alone is all that makes a successful organization.
If I could give the Sabres one thing, it would be another first pair defenseman to play alongside Rasmus Ristolainen. To me that is clearly the Sabres biggest need, especially if they have any plans for making a long playoff run going forward. This may end up happening through the draft this offseason, but if I gave the Sabres that now it could be enough to push them at least near the playoffs.
The one thing I would give the Buffalo Sabres is a top-class goalie. While the defense still has some issues to sort out, it would be great to have a lockdown goaltender between the pipes that will help the D build some confidence. Pekka Rinne at 32 would be a good bridge for the next 2-3 years, and Jonathan Quick or Ben Bishop would be a longer term solution.
Merry Christmas to all of you, have a safe and wonderful holiday!