Why I’m Here…
Hello, I’m the new guy. This is my first blog for Black & Blue & Gold.
Well, that’s not actually true. See, before Phil made the decision to let me come on to this website and start using up some bandwidth, I sent him a writing example. 500 or so words on the Sekera signing and what it may or may not mean for the approaching Tyler Myers negotiations. They came off the fingertips pretty quickly. I think there is one thing that all of us have discovered: when it comes to the Terry Pegula era Buffalo Sabres, there is no shortage of words.
Here we are, in the heart of a summer that’s seeing a/c units across WNY putting in the kind of shifts that rival any Max Afinogenov used to irritate Lindy with. And across cyberspace and the twitterverse, folks have been proclaiming their anxiousness for October to arrive. 2006 was like this – but different. Unlike now, the team was coming off a deep, unexpected playoff run. The belief was that if not for the utter destruction of the blueline, Buffalo would’ve won the Cup. Tickets were snatched up. Merchandise was flying. This town had Sabres fever. They were gonna take a run at the Cup!
There always seemed to be just that slightest bit of hesitation from ownership. They didn’t want to pay Danny Briere $5 million a year. Then the arbiter ruled they did if they wanted to keep him. That happened on 7/23/06. Remember when the Sabres decided to accept the decision? August 5th. They took up to almost the last possible moment to decide to keep one their captains for one more season took make a championship run. It was the team’s best look at it in 30 years, and the billionaire owner was sweating 1 season of $5 million to keep his best offensive player.
Now present day. The team is not coming off a deep run, but in fact hasn’t won a round in 4 years. Merchandise is moving – not as fast, but at a good clip. Tickets sales though are better than ever. Sabres fever is back with a vengeance.
…and this time we know the owner is committed.
Count me among those just salivating for the puck to drop in Europe this fall. I can’t wait for any of it. Can’t wait for when the first crisis occurs, on the ice or off. How will this organization react? How will the fans react to that reaction? What happens when Pegula and co. make their inevitable first mistake? Expectations are high. How much slack will be cut? In so many ways, we are really heading towards the most fascinating time in the history of a franchise that features among other things a bankruptcy and owners getting taken to prison. Soak it in.
Soak it in.