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Farewell, Craig Rivet February 27, 2011

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I was happy to see yesterday that a team picked up Craig Rivet off waivers. It may be that the next few months will be his last-gasp chance to play in the NHL and I’m glad he’s with a team that will give him a change to actually help them out.

I’m sure Craig was right when he said he was sorry that he didn’t think the Buffalo fans saw what he was truly capable of. He’s not the player he was a few years ago, but I think he’s better than what we saw.

Plus, I have to give him major props for how he handled himself as a Sabre. Not many captains, or even veterans in general, would’ve taken the extended benching/healthy scratching that Rivet did with as much grace as he displayed.

So thank you, Craig Rivet, and farewell. I hope you fare well.

Peguladay: my top five thoughts February 23, 2011

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So February 22, 2011 was declared “Peguladay” in the greater Western New York area, and I think that’s great. Anytime my favorite team can generate positive buzz makes me happy. I decided the best way for me to express my overall thoughts on the Pegula Era, however, was in a Top 5 list. I do like lists…

  1. Terry Pegula seems like a very nice man. His kids and wife obviously love him and vice versa. However, don’t think he’s a pushover who will bow to fan pressure. You don’t become a billionaire by acquiescing to those around you, and that’s fine with me. It’s his team and I’m sure he’ll do the best he can.
  2. The two other guys he brought in are solid hockey minds. Neither one of them is going to be wowed by the current roster, which I also think is a good thing. If the Sabres are pure sellers at the trade deadline, that’s fine with me. Get rid of the dead weight and then actually sign some impact players in July. I’m on board if that’s the plan.
  3. Keeping Darcy Regier is a calculated risk which by itself dims the luster of this occasion in the eyes of many fans. But let’s look at it this way – first, Pegula won’t give him unlimited time to turn the ship around; and second, give him a chance to work without financial constraints and see what he’s able to do.
  4. Making Buffalo a premier place to play hockey sounds like a splendid idea. But short of paying players lots of money, how do they plan to do that? I heard nothing today that sounded like an actionable step beyond spending more on player salaries and refurb-ing what looks like a pretty nice locker room already. Oh, and a vague thing about more development coaches. Do we really need more of those?
  5. None of this will mean a thing if the players don’t show up with some “give a damn” this week and next. Buffalo fans are fickle creatures and the shine will wear off quite quickly if the team is still losing at home and no “significant” moves are made at the deadline.

So there you have it. It’s almost 1am and I’ve had a migraine since 4pm, so this is the most coherent this post is going to get. Sabres play Atlanta tomorrow (well, actually, later today) – kicking them all over the ice would be a good step, just so you know, guys.

I’ve figured Darcy out… September 2, 2010

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So Darcy has been stockpiling defensemen, and no one has been able to discern his reasoning. But I think I know what’s up! Darcy is obviously waiting for the NHL to nullify the contracts of Kovalchuk, et al, and then once the fines are handed out and the caps are shrunken, leaving the Devils, Blackhawks, and Canucks in serious trouble, he’ll swoop in with his cheap defensemen and offer to take Hank, Soupy, and Kevin Bieska off the teams’ hands.

Because, you see, he can’t bear to part with players he’s drafted, so he needs to find a way to get them back! This is brilliant! And Bieska is a bonus! Plus, all of this only helps advance his ultimate role of fielding an all-defensemen team.

When you think about it, the answer was there all along. We just had to look for it.

Demystifying NHL Rules, Part, um, three? March 28, 2010

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I’m not sure where we are in our continuing saga of trying to figure out what the heck is going on with the NHL rule books. Today I thought I’d take a look at the special rules that come into play after the trade deadline.

“The 23-man roster limit is in place from the conclusion of the preseason until 12:01 am on the day of the NHL’s Trade Deadline. After that teams are allowed to have an unlimited active roster at the NHL level, provided players are signed to one of their 50 contract slots. NHL teams are only allowed to dress a maximum of 20 players – 18 skaters and two goaltenders – for any given game, but those 20 must come from the 23-player active roster.” Source: NHL Rulebook

However, there are only a certain number of roster MOVES a team can make between the trade deadline and the end of the season. I don’t know what that number is, but that’s why Tyler Ennis was classified as an “emergency call-up”. He has to be returned to the Pirates in a certain length of time or his call-up is considered a roster move. Again, I don’t know what this timeframe is.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “Well, that’s helpful… not.” I tried to find out how many roster moves can be made and how long it was before an emergency call-up is classified as a roster move, but I couldn’t find the information. If you know where to find it, let me know in the comments section and I’ll update the blog post.

So, in conclusion, the Sabres could conceivably have 50 players on the current roster from now on, but 1 – that would leave no one in Portland, and 2 – that’s an awful lot of guys using a folding chair as their locker. This lack of a roster limit does explain why minor-league players hang out with their NHL big brothers during the playoffs. If you’ve got the cap space and the roster space, why not have a few extra players sitting around just in case Pat Kaleta decides to break his hand on a guy’s face again or Paul Gaustad… well… breathes.

Well, that didn’t really demystify that rule, did it? Oh well, I tried.

Are deadline trades worth it? March 6, 2010

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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I often wonder if trades made at the deadline are really worth it – at least in the case of rentals. Right now there are only five weeks left in the regular season. Is that enough time to integrate a rental player into your lineup and build the chemistry necessary for him to really make a difference?

If the team goes far in the playoffs there’s obviously more time to develop chemistry, but I wonder what percentage of rental players go beyond the first round or two of the playoffs… I wonder, and yet I’m not going to actually figure out the answer to that question. I’m not good at math and that sounds like not only math, but hard math.

People ask me why I’m so “easy” on the Sabres when they don’t go for it at the deadline, and the above is the reason. I’d rather trade for someone who is going to be with the team in future years than to mortgage a lot and hope for the best.

That being said, welcome, Raffi Torres. Sabres fans love shiny new toys, so enjoy your popularity while you can.

He's like a shiny penny, but not.

The Sabres play the Rangers tomorrow. Typically, I don’t mind playing the Rangers since the Sabres tend to do well against them, and tomorrow shouldn’t be any different. Hopefully the boys can find chemistry with their shiny new toy and stay in first in the division. I hope they also did some more shooting practice – this whole “missing the net” thing is getting ridiculous.

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