It’s that time of year again folks, the NHL offseason is in full swing. Players are finally set free from their contractual obligations and the free agency wooing process follows shortly thereafter. Teams have already begun making moves to improve their roster with the ultimate goal of competing for Lord Stanley’s Cup… and then there are the Sabres. So far this offseason the Blue & Gold have made church mice seem loud. Aside from what many experts are coining a “successful” draft, Buffalo has done minimal subtraction and even less addition. In case you’ve been vacationing under a rock…
Reggie Sekera was shipped out of town, Nathan Gerbe was bought out, Matt Ellis was brought back on a 2-way deal, Alexander Sulzer signed a new one year pact & career AHL’er Drew Bagnall was inked as well. O and as I was writing this the Sabres decided to make one fairytale reunion a reality, just not the one people expected. No Daniel Briere ended up with Montreal and the Sabres ended up trading for 34-year old D-man Henrik Tallinder.
When lackluster reconciliations and the addition of a new assistant coach are the most exciting thing to happen to your favorite team during the offseason, things can get awfully testy awfully quickly. Add to that that every other team in your division is not just making kiddy splashes, but tidal waves in the free agency pool and it’s hard to blame Sabres fans for being underwhelmed and frustrated. So just know as I continue on in today’s column, I understand where many of you are coming from, but that doesn’t mean I excuse it.
Before we go any further let’s take a moment to bring forth a definition on what exactly insanity is. For the purpose of today’s column, I’m going with the Albert Einstein school of thought (after all, the guy was a genius.) Albert classified insanity as, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Sound familiar a tad bit familiar?
You see for as long as I can remember, us Sabres fans seem to arrive at the same destination each July. Free agency begins, teams in our division (for better or worse) are active, the Sabres are not & we all get angry. Every. Single. Year. It’s as though Sabres fans catch a nasty, reoccurring case of amnesia
and forget what the offseason will hold. As far as I’m concerned, it’s become such a tradition that we might as well make it an annual holiday. The thing that befuddles me the most is that we all know how Darcy works. He’s calm & calculated and when he’s ready to strike he strikes. His moves are often under the radar and it is rare to see another GM pull a fast one over on him. He attempts to minimize risk and build from within. The problem with all this? It gets boring, especially when you’re not winning.
As fans there is something that is ingrained within us. Until the clock hits all zeros we find a way to continue to believe & hope, whether we admit it out loud or not. This is our offseason version of the same principle. We know that come July the Sabres won’t make any headlines, but rather than be rational and save ourselves the heartache we continue to further the notions of “maybe this year will be different” and “what if???” From an outsider’s point of view it appears as though we are all masochists, deriving entertainment from our self-manufactured pain. The truth is it’s really just our overwhelming sense of passion; A case of blind, dumb love. This commitment to unyielding belief is what causes us to appear, at least on the surface, as Einstein’s personification of insanity. The same thing continues to happen again & again, yet we expect a different result.
As long as Darcy remains the GM, offseasons in Buffalo will continue to look the same. You can continue to call for change in the front office. You can continue to abhor losing streaks and poor coaching decisions. You can even complain that being a Sabres fan is boring in the summer time. Just for the love of all that is good PLEASE stop acting surprised, if not for me, for yourself. There’s a reason the saying goes “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
Despite my cries, I know that this plea is in vain. How do I know this? Because despite all of my lecturing, I too am guilty of refusing to relinquish hope. Regardless of what anyone tells us we’ll continue to expect to be pleasantly surprised. It’s what makes Buffalo fans what we are. I just hope for all our sakes that it one day pays off, because as long as you’re winning, no one cares if you’re a little bit of your rocker.
Tweet of the Week:
Who better to stoke the fire than (fake) Darcy himself?
Can start talking to free agents at 12:01 AM. On an unrelated note, going to bed early tonight. Good night.— Fake Darcy (@FakeDarcy) July 3, 2013
Have your own opinion on this week’s column or a topic you want featured in next week’s column? Get at me on Twitter: @BradleyGelber
Boycotting is not a realistic option in Buffalo. Or at least it is not an option that will have any impact on the bottom line to send a message whatsoever. In this instance geography is the Buffalo markets ally and enemy. If people from western New York stopped renewing, all of those tickets will be bought up by Canadians coming over the border since it costs less to see an NHL game in Buffalo than going to Toronto. Tough spot to be in. As someone that was born and raised in Buffalo, it kills me to see my hometown go from such promise and hope (when Pegula became owner) to the laughing stock that they are now. I place the square blame on the owner who has allowed the GM that built this soft underachieving team to remain in his position despite the mediocrity that is now the Buffalo Sabre's. It really is a shame that someone that is really great for the city of Buffalo has turned out to be terrible as well. I love the game and played it for over 20 years but this is getting hard to watch.
@dflo20 Thanks for reading & sharing your thoughts as well. I agree it's a tough spot for the team to be in. I also agree as I mentioned in the other comment boycotting isn't realistic nor like you said would it make an impact in the long run.
So When Will All the Loyal Die hard Sabre Fans Start to take matters into there own hands?? Make a Statement to Our Wonderful Owner. STOP RENEWING SEASON TICKETS!! DON'T GO TO ANOTHER GAME!! BOYCOTT OUT FROM OF THE ARENA.. Maybe Just Maybe Ole Terry will get the Point and Do what he should have done a year ago. FIRED BOTH TED BLACK AND THE DARCINATOR Destroyer of the SABRES.. What the hell was he thinking to buy out a $660.00 Contract..
@Sabrekiller57 Thanks for taking the time to read/comment. I definitely understand the frustration, but asking fans to boycott games and the sport they love is awfully difficult. That was the same school of thought some had after the lockout... To not return to watching hockey. It just isn't entirely realistic. We'll see what happens going forwarded, but like I said winning solves everything!