Just a quick update of my thoughts on all the skinny that has been going on with Sabres and the NHL.
- Anne and Shelby have already informed us that our very own Ryan Miller has been invited to Team USA's Orientation Camp in August. He's the only player on the roster who will be representing the blue & gold, but WNYers like Pat Kane and Brooks Orpik are also on the roster. Ryan has said before how much it means to him to participate in the Olympics and to represent his country, and it will be really neat for Sabres fans to see him out there competiting. I'm not going to pretend that not I'm biased, but I really hope he gets the starting job. He's a great competitor who has shown that he can raises his play significantly at key moments in important games, and I think he'd do a good job in backstopping Team USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Being apart of Team USA also means that it's likely that he and Chris Drury will once again be teammates. And then there's Mr. Scott "I like to take out Ryan Miller and bust his left ankle" Gomez and Mr. Phil "I like to give Ryan Miller a shit-eating grin after I score on him in a shootout" Kessel who are also potential future Team USA members. Do I sense some drama? Nahhhh, of course not. These aren't high school girls, these are grown men for god's sake! I suppose one of the neat things about being apart of the Olympics is that players have to put aside their differences and rivalries and join together to represent their country and compete together.
- Today the Aud has officially been knocked down...finally. A time capsule was found during the Aud's demoltion from 1939...pretty neat! Here is a link to the video of Byron Brown opening the capsule and showing the crowd what is in it. Many fans are sad to see the Aud go, but I guess I game to terms awhile ago, and I'm not bummed like most fans. The memories will live on forever and that's all that really matters. Hopefully the demolition of the Aud represents a new chapter in the waterfront development situation because I know how much Buffalonians are craving for some sort of attraction down there. I was down at the waterfront a few days ago and it was really buzzing. The people of Buffalo are just dying for some sort of activity/attraction to go on down there and I just hope that the city follows through.
- I attended the Draft Party at the Albright-Knox with a few of my fellow Sabres fans and I had a pretty good time. Everyone in attendence seemed to be very pleased with the Sabres' selection of Kassian...I think the fans are pretty happy to see the direction that the Sabres chose in this year's draft. It was also fun to see Mike Robitaille wander around the stage in his sassy flippy floppys and Tim Conolly oogle at my assets. Gotta love Timmy. He always knows how to class it up. There was also an awesome BOUNCE HOUSE in front of the art gallery that I really wanted to bounce on but I restrained myself. The draft got me excited for the future as I've heard really good things about Kassian and our other draft picks. It also made me think of the prospects that we already have like Myers who has a good chance at making the squad next year, which would be pretty exciting.
- Tomorrow is the big day...free agency! It's the day that hockey fans either embrace or dread, depending on what position your team is in. Regardless, it's a day of excitment and we'll see players get signed to mega contracts worth vast sums of money (Bouwmeester) and we'll also see fans bitch and moan when their GM (Darcy Regier) does absolutely NOTHING to improve their team's roster (the Buffalo Sabres). I know I'm excited! It's a day where fans have to say goodbye to certain members of their beloved team and it's also a time where fans might welcome a new addition! For us, it seems more and more likely that we're going to say goodbye to Spacek, Peters, Numminen, and Afinogenov. There are also the lesser known UFAs like Ellis and Moore that may or may not stick around. It's not really worth weighing in on these specific players and what I want to see our management do with them, but all I'll say is happy trails for those who do leave us.
I'm sure I'll be updating in the upcoming days to recap the free agency frenzy. Until then...