Well, I now know why the Son of GT loves those Sabres.
It never made much sense. He's already saddled with a Blues-first love of hockey (due to his father) and his unbelievably awesome first professional hockey game ever, but I had several theories as to why he had some weird link to upstate New York. From least likely to most likely, they were:
1. The kid loves the new NHL and its emphasis on speed and skill. These guys are fun as hell to watch play. They are dangling the puck, firing big breakouts, using speed around the outside.... They are a team that we should want to win.
2. Buffalo's effective use of former has-beens. The Land Of Misfit Toys, NHL Style. Connolly (out w/a head injury), Dumont, Briere, Hecht, Drury, Jillson, Lydman and Pyatt have all been cast-off by former teams that gave up on them. Most have blossomed. Some (Jillson and Pyatt for sure) are still looking to break out.
3. They have cool sweaters. Sure, the blue and gold with the actual buffalo and actual sabres was a nice uni, but the black/red/silver with the charging Buff is pretty cool. I actually thought this was the main reason that Son of GT was on board with them.
4. A personal vendetta, like his sister says she hates the Sabres. Usually enough of a reason to get behind a team, if the 1st Daughter of GT, (who doesn't care about hockey nearly as much as she cares about Hilary Duff and the latest Kelly Clarkson single), had so much as said, "I don't like the Sabres", Son of GT would pick up the torch for life. The kid is a lot of things, and steadfast is definitely one of them.
But no. If I'd been smart (which is seldom an accusation around the GT HQ), I would have looked for a simpler solution. During Game 3 of the eastern conference finals, as we watched the game and I silently rooted for the Canes, I asked the gloating and preening Sabres fan why he liked them so much.
"Because their name is like Lightsabers."
Oh yeah. I recently purchased the Star Wars trilogy for the boy and he has taken to it like...well, like his father took to it back in 1977-1980.
New Blues 2006-2007
There is some local support to 'Retire 51' for the Cardinals. In a much, MUCH smaller movement, after an internet column, there is some local support to "Bring Back Soupy" - Jim Campbell, the onetime 20-goal scorer and let him have a run at making the Blues roster this summer.
To this I say, "break The Cycle".
Look, I know that everything in St. Louis that is popular gets several runs and that many people in St. Louis have a hard time accepting anything new over anything old, but cheese and rice, Soupy hasn't been good since St. Louis had a massive flood eat a good portion of the northern river coastline.
In the article, he says that he can make $100-150k in the minors, but he'd love a shot at the Blues (minimum NHL wage=$450k). No shit. I'd love a shot at making the Blues at minimum, too. Hell, I'd go anywhere in the world to play hockey and make Soupy's 'comfortable' $100-150k. Wouldn't you? Play a game for six months in a Europe, play and eat and drink during off days and have your summers off? It's like being a teacher, but at 5 times the pay and 1% of the responsibility. Of course you'd play minor league hockey. Pro hockey on a minimum salary of $450k? That's 4.5times the fun and 450% less responsibility.
Excuse me, Soup, but no shit.
I really hope that new management is smart enough to say, thanks, but no thanks to Soupy and Harry York and Blair Atcheynum and Joe Murphy and Terry Yake and Pascal Rheaume.
The page has turned, and while we're looking for untapped talent, you guys are what we call 'tapped talent'. We know what we get with you, so good luck in Europe.
I'd love to see a huge training camp roster, full of our prospects and newly signed free agents and every AHL kid who can't get a look in Detroit and Colorado.
But enough already with the former Blues pulling on the Note one last time. Soupy had like two good months. Let's not pretend he's going to become another 20 goal scorer at age 33.