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My Recap Of #SabreSummit & A Look At That Whole Blogger Credentials Thing

06/18/11
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So last night was the much ballyhooed Buffalo Sabres Blogger Summit with Ted Black, in which we all ate pizza and drank beer with Ted Black and Kevin Sylvester…and asked questions about development, fan relations, game presentation, blogger access and more.

A number of the other bloggers in attendance had their recaps up earlier today (including Chris, Heather, Caroline, Paul, Zachary and Kevin) and it would be awfully redundant to mirror the comments expressed in an almost identical fashion elsewhere, so I’m not going to do that. I’ll instead try to go ahead and dish on stuff that’s maybe not been covered by the other “Summitteers” (kudos on that, Corey Griswold).

When we all had arrived, it felt like we really had no clue what to expect. I personally showed up with my questions in my head and I planned on tweeting the whole time, but a lot of the conversation enraptured me and I maybe tweeted a dozen times throughout the thing. Chris came into the summit with a reporter’s mindset and he ended up being pretty spot on with the feel of the thing. By the time everyone had settled in, we had all kind of figured out that it was, as Katebits dubbed it, a press conference lite. Personally, I think that kind of format was more conducive to this first attempt at blogger interaction than maybe a casual campfire chat. That does sound like more fun (make no mistake, last night was very fun and quite jovial at times), but I feel that it might not have been the best way to introduce the two sides to each other. First impressions and all.

Yes, there were questions about player development (myself and Kris Baker), how the AHL situation is coming along (Zachary and Chris), and fan-centric stuff (Heather and Caroline, among others), but the conversation that dominated the night was the blogger credentialing thing. Black and the Sabres very presciently saw that coming and relegated the topic to the off-camera Q&A session. I’m on the fence about the blogger access thing, to be honest. Yes, I strive with Black & Blue & Gold to approach the Buffalo Sabres and hockey from a semi-professional stance, but I don’t know if I find it necessary for B&B&G to have access to the press box and maybe the locker room. If the team came to me with an offer to issue the blog credentials, I’d accept them with the intent to figuratively dip my toes in the water and I’d take notes to write my game recap or do a column, but I wouldn’t say I’d eagerly seek them out of my own accord. Maybe once to, as I just wrote, dip my toes in the water.

For me, the meat of Black & Blue & Gold’s content comes from analysis. I break down roster possibilities going into games and talk about crucial plays in the recap. I break down specific tactics in some posts and how contract extensions impact the market in others. I like to approach the blog’s material from a serious angle (which is in STARK contrast to my early days) but I’m doing just fine without a perch above the ice with my name on it. I’d love to have media access when it comes to prospect development camp, during training camp, or at both teams’ morning skates but otherwise I just kind of shrug at the idea of it.

The prospect of sharing the press box with guys like Mike Harrington and James Mirtle – hell, the fact that it’s even a possibility now and no longer a pipe dream – is very new and exciting and I’m not quite sure how I’m going to feel about it this summer. I’ll probably flip-flop on the topic as the long, hot days drag on. Who knows.

UPDATE: Let the flip-flopping begin. I was up until about 4AM, ya know like I do, and it started to settle in how exciting this all can really be after an email conversation with fellow Sabres blogger Matthew Stewart. I still can’t say if I’m going to sniff out credentialing like a good ole’ coon-hound, but I’ll definitely inquire about it with more than just a shred of interest. If it happens, the most important part will be not making an idiot of myself (and not making the Sabres look foolish for extending this chance to bloggers) in the press box.

I do know that the draft is coming up in six days, free agency begins in thirteen, and then prospect development camp will most likely take place during the first week of July at Dwyer Arena again. Hockey never sleeps.

If you haven’t listened to the audio of the summit posted to The Goose’s Roost yet, left-click this link to stream it over the interwebs or right click it to save the file to your hard drive

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