Archive for August, 2007

Fantasy Hockey

Guess what! It looks like I will be playing in a fantasy hockey league with Mirtle, Sleek, Spector, and a host of other hockey blog bigwigs! This is a pretty big coup for a girl who had never heard of Jaromir Jagr until a few months ago.

(Mirtle, if you are reading this, I’m just kidding. I’m a new hockey fan and I would never try to play in such an esteemed fantasy hockey league……but your open invitation was too much to resist!)

Teppo and Goose

(This post is a part of a series entitled “Kate’s Favorite Sabre Competition” in which I am choosing my 2007/08 favorite Sabre by process of elimination. Each and every Sabre is a hero, but in the end, there can be only one favorite.)

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At this stage in the competition it is getting considerably harder to write funny posts about the remaining Sabres. I really like everyone left, and I don’t particularly want to make fun of them! The only avenue of escape I can see is self-deprecation. So let’s begin…….

Paul Gaustad #28

Dear Goose,

You and I could be so great together. You were born in Fargo, and I spent half of my childhood driving back and forth between the Twin Cities and Fargo to visit my Grandmother. You were raised in Portland, OR which is one of my very favorite places in the country. (I visit Portland at least once a year to see my best friend and my sister who both live there.) You love to read. Goose, I love to read too. In interviews you seem bright and articulate, and not just bright and articulate for an athlete, but bright and articulate for a human being! What fun we could have with the witty banter! I bet you know what a viola is, and I’m sure you’d enjoy watching Arrested Development. You’re tall. I’m tall. You’re affable and well liked, and I…..like likeable people.

There is one reason, and one reason only that you and I cannot be together:

You are far, far too good looking for me.

No, no, please don’t argue…..hush. You know it’s true, Goose.

If you were to become Kate’s Favorite Sabre, I would be accused of choosing you because of your dashing good looks. (Goose, you are far and away the best looking Sabre; this much is beyond discussion.) A relationship between a fan and a Favorite Sabre cannot exist on Reading PSAs and the Fargo-connection alone. There are also jerseys to consider. I just don’t think I can pull off a Gaustad jersey. I’m not sure that “Gaustad (I love him for all the right reasons, not just because he’s hot as hell.) 28” would fit on the back of a jersey, and even if it did, it would be cost prohibitive. No, the sad truth is, a Gaustad jersey at this stage might as well say, “Gaustad (I like him because he’s hot.) 28

This can be a very good year for us. You are healthy, and the team will ask much more of you this season. Hopefully your tendon will hold up, and you will get to play a lot more minutes as part of an established line. The terrible reign of the Lauded Drury Work Ethic is officially over, and this is an area where you can naturally step in as a leader. You are known as a hard worker and a physical player. Just for good measure, let’s see if you can’t get into a few good fights and messy up those pretty features.

In the meantime, I’ll increase my overall appeal by becoming a better hockey viewer. (Everyone knows that a woman’s sex appeal is directly related to her level of hockey knowledge. Duh.) I’ll do my best to learn all I can about hockey. I’ll keep a watchful eye on you so that I can learn the finer points of your game. I’ll work on my self confidence as a fan, so that next year, if while I’m wearing a Gaustad jersey someone says to me, “You just like him because he’s hot”, I can reply with righteous indignation, “No, I like him because of his high levels of BADASSERY…….the hotness is just a bonus.”

Honking For You,

Katebits

Teppo Numminen #27

I refuse to cut Teppo Numminen.

Teppo transcends this competition in every way.

I’m not cutting Teppo. I’m just leaving this picture for you to enjoy.

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Before I sign off on this, the second to last stage of Kate’s Favorite Sabre Competition, I would just like to say how much I have enjoyed writing these little Sabre profiles. I know it’s been silly in here, but I feel like I have a much better handle on the team heading into the season. Oh sure, my profiles are utter inanity, but so is the off-season. The hockey off-season is crazy-making. It’s not my fault.

Don’t forget, I have no intention of sticking to my decision in this competition. This has been nothing but a juvenile, hollow exercise in futility……but please, stay tuned for the EXCITING CONCLUSION!

Important Announcements

1. My friend Glenn did not advance to the Final 10 in the Sabres Emcee competition. This is a travesty and a city wide embarrassment. I appear to be living in a town that refuses to recognize comic genius. It’s a sad, sad day when a man who knows next to nothing about hockey is denied the right to host NHL games just because he’s gay. If Glenn is not free to stand up in front of tens of thousands of paying hockey fans and pretend he knows what he’s talking about, than none of us are free. Citizens of Buffalo, we should be ashamed of ourselves.

Seriously, Glenn would have done an amazing job as the Sabres Emcee. Glenn’s video was fantastic and he really should have advanced to the next round. I am so proud of him for getting as far as he did. Just like me, Glenn is a new hockey fan, but unlike me, Glenn has some serious cojones . It takes a special person to go out on this type of limb, and even though he didn’t win the (rigged) competition, he won our hearts. Good work, Glenn! You totally rock.

2. Tomorrow I will be headed to Minnesota to visit my family. I’ll keep an eye out for Paulie Martin and Thomas Vanek who both summer in the Twin Cities. If I see Thomas I’ll be sure to make him buy me a drink on behalf of all of Buffalo. He owes.

3. The Willful Caboose is the number one listed site when you Google “super smoking hottie“. My work here is done.

Yo-Yo, Staffy, and Mairsy

(This post is a part of a series entitled “Kate’s Favorite Sabre Competition” in which I am choosing my 2007/08 favorite Sabre by process of elimination. Each and every Sabre is a hero, but in the end, there can be only one favorite.)

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I think I can hear the screams of outrage at IPB from here. Let’s just get this over with, shall we?

Jochen Hecht #55

To say that Jochen Hecht has bewitched me is a massive understatement. I recently watched a game in which he tarted it up with a green mouth guard, scored two goals, and smiled shyly countless times…. and my heart was set ablaze. I got to seriously thinking about Yo-Yo and what he brings to the table, and to my great astonishment, I made an incredible discovery: The guy’s sexy. The guy’s passionate. The guy’s a warrior.

He’s a sexy, passionate warrior.

Once I realized that Jochen is a genuine S,PW everything changed in this competition. Suddenly I was juggling everybody around and trying to make room for Jochen at the top. The very top. There is nothing I love more than a S,PW (R.I.P, Chris Drury), so I began making arrangements for Jochen to ascend to the throne of Kate’s Favorite Sabre. I reinstated his eligibility in the competition, I began working on the break-up speech for the guy who thinks he’s about to be named KFS, and I started saving my pennies for a “Hecht” jersey. I was ready to go.

And then it all came to a crashing halt.

Something was needling at the back of my mind. I knew I had overlooked something important, I just couldn’t figure out what. For several days I racked my brain, and finally, like a bolt of terrifying lightning, it hit me:

July 1st, 2008.

I can’t go through it again. Free agency broke my heart once already, and now I must guard against its cold, greedy grasp. Jochen, until you sign an extension, you are ineligible to be my favorite Sabre. I’m sorry, but this is how it must be.

Drew Stafford #21

Conventional wisdom says that Drew Stafford is the Next Big Thing in Buffalo, and I believe that this is true. I recently watched a Sabres 12 to Remember (vs. Toronto) in which Staffy seriously tore things up on a line with Roy and Vanek. I’m really looking forward to a full season of Drew, and I think he has excellent Favorite Sabre potential. He’s the complete package. He seems to have “future captain” written all over his delightfully scowly face, and I’m certain he will grasp the opportunity to become a genuine superstar. He is awesome, and compelling, and fun, and tall, and fast, and…….cocky.

There is something about this kid that is so, so cocky. Maybe calling Staffy “cocky” is unfair. Staffy has a complicated and nefarious mythology over at IPB, and I have no doubt that this has colored my opinion of him, but still, the dude’s COCKY. Now, I like a blustery, cock-sure fella as much as the next violist, but there is something about Drew Stafford’s particular brand of confidence that needs to be quelled. There is something about that unibrow that must be stopped. There is something about that smirk that simply will not do.

Drew, you are about to enter into a year in which everything should fall into place. You’ve got it all now. It’s for your own good that I am withholding my Favorite Sabre status. I’m concerned that the perks of stardom are going to go to your head. I want you to know that even if you score all the goals, sleep with all the women, and dominate all the games, there’s still one highly coveted title that you must fight to earn: Kate’s Favorite Sabre. I don’t hand this shit out to just any totally awesome hockey player. No, this shit is for reals.

Update: Okay, Staffy. The general consensus in the comments is that you are not cocky. Fine. Word of advice, in a few weeks when they take your roster photo, smile pretty. I’m withdrawing my accusation of cockiness, but I’ve still got a watchful eye on you. One move towards cockiness and it’s back “Mean Katebits”.

Adam Mair #22

Adam Mair, it’s not you. It’s me.

I ADORE you. I love how after the season ended you unflinchingly told reporters that you wanted to stay in Buffalo, and that you intended to stay in Buffalo, and then you went ahead and actually stayed. I love how you basically shrugged your shoulders at the loss of the co-captains, and by doing so, reassured me that someone else will step in and fill the role of leader. I love how you are always punching opposing players with an affable grin on your face. I love how you are part of the fight against animal cruelty. I love you for your scrappyness, your tenacity, and your passion.

I am a new hockey fan. I don’t know much about your wonderful sport. It’s not fair to you, but I’m scared that if I choose you as my Favorite Sabre, I will spend my year saying (by way of explanation), “I don’t know why I chose him. I just really like the guy.” I am certain that you have as much to offer on the ice as you do off, but I’m not a saavy enough fan to articulate your playing attributes…..at least not yet. For my first year as a fan, I want a favorite player that demands no explanation that I can’t offer. Until I’m a smart enough hockey viewer to do you justice with my impassioned vows of devotion, I cannot in good conscious name you my Favorite Sabre.

Like I said, it’s not you. It’s me.

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Okay! We’re down to the final four! In order to prolong the last suspense, the last four guys will be in two groups of two. Call your bookies and place your bets today! It will all be over soon.

Meet the Pretty Louies

When a person suddenly becomes obsessed with hockey right before the end of hockey season, it can lead to acts of desperation. One such act of desperation occurred at my house this morning when I found myself on the Sabres website, trolling for something, anything to satisfy my hockey cravings.

When I clicked on the photo album, “2007 Street HockeyFest” my expectations were very low. Street HockeyFest is a street festival hosted by the Sabres outside of HSBC arena every summer. Kids can participate in a sudden death, street hockey tournament divided up into age groups. The whole album is actually quite cute, but in the very last frame, I hit serious pay dirt.

Meet the Pretty Louies:

Aren’t they hilariously awesome? I’m not sure what is going on with the pink shirts and the headbands, but I applaud these boys for their delightful moxie. If you can’t have fun playing street hockey, where can you have fun, right?

Congratulations on your big win Pretty Louies!

Hank, Pommerdoodle, and Soupy

(This post is a part of a series entitled “Kate’s Favorite Sabre Competition” in which I am choosing my 2007/08 favorite Sabre by process of elimination. Each and every Sabre is a hero, but in the end, there can be only one favorite.)

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It is with heavy heart that I present the fifth round of cuts. Every remaining Sabre is a winner in my book, but in order to choose my ultimate favorite, good men must be sacrificed along the way.

Henrik Tallinder #10

Heather, please look away.

Hank “the charges were dropped” Tallinder is a genuine dish. He’s tall, blond, and delightfully dreamy. There is something very graceful and swoopy about his on-ice presence, and Hank is one of the few Sabres I can recognize just by his skating style. Many people in Buffalo consider him our most valuable defenseman, and while I have nothing to contribute to that conversation, I am very pleased that Hank is on our roster for the next three years. He also seems like a very sweet guy. In the one interview I’ve seen, he talked very genuinely about wanting to spend the summer playing with his boys. Aww, cute.

So let’s review:

-Good defenseman
-compelling skater
-handsome
-sweet-natured family man
-no longer involved in a Swedish sex scandal

Even though you’re not my favorite Sabre, I wish you well, Hank. Just be good to Heather, and for the love of Lindy Ruff, stay out of trouble!

Jason Pominville #29

Here’s the thing about Jason Pominville: He’s a total dog.

He’s a labradoodle puppy, to be precise.

After Schnookie and Pookie pointed out Pominville’s likeness to a labradoodle, it was all over for Jason Pominville “the man”. I have no interest in the reality of Jason Pominville. No, to me, Pommerdoodle is just a big, dopey, eager-to-please dog. If I ever met Jason, it would take every ounce of my concentration not to reach up and scratch him behind the ears.

So intense is my affection for Pommers, that for a few minutes I seriously considered making him my Favorite Sabre. Sadly, due to his popularity amongst teeny-boppers, no self respecting 32-year-old woman can wear a Jason Pominville jersey. It’s just not done. Pommerdoodle may be adorable, but he’s not “Kate’s Favorite Sabre” material.

(I hear he’s a pretty good hockey player and that we should be anxious to see how he reacts to a new, Briere-free line next season. Whatevs. As long his center rewards him with lots of puppy chews, I’m sure Pommerdoodle will do just fine.)

Brian Campbell #51

Soupy!

Say what you want about his hap-hazard defensive style, but Soupy’s got a compelling personality. If there is one thing I like in a man, it’s a willingness to laugh at any old dumb thing, and Brian Campbell has this quality in spades. As a person who also technically makes her living “playing” I appreciate Soupy’s boyish enthusiasm. It’s cute and endearing. On the other hand, sometimes when I am hanging out with a someone who’s constantly joking around, I can get frustrated. Before too long, I can feel my blood pressure rising and meanwhile he doesn’t realize that this time I’m serious, I want him to stop being such a clown, just for one second. But he just keeps teasing or joking or whatever the hell he’s doing, until finally I lose my shit and scream, “Get back in your own fucking defensive zone and stop SPINNING AROUND like that!” (I have to admit, I have no idea what I am talking about with Soupy. I’m just parroting things I’ve read on other hockey blogs. I just have this feeling about him….I suspect he is about to drive me batty with love and rage. I mean, just look at him there. Don’t you simultaneously want to make out with him and punch him in the face? I sure do. )

Clearly my relationship with Soupy is far too complicated for him to be my Favorite Sabre this year.

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Well, that does it for another round of cuts. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all of my readers that I am new to hockey and that this blog is more a reflection of my newness than it is of my general mental instability. I’m bored, and I don’t have the hockey smarts to talk about hockey without ACTUAL HOCKEY. I need the season to begin before I permanently establish myself as an irredeemable weirdo. (Too late?)

Reversal of Fortune

In a stunning turn of events, at 1:05 (EST) the management of The Willful Caboose announced that Buffalo Sabres Center, Jochen Hecht’s eligibility for Kate’s Favorite Sabre has been reinstated. In a brief press conference, H.R.M Katebits read the following statement:

“It is with great happiness that I announce Jochen’s return to the Favorite Sabre competition. As many of you know, I am a new hockey fan, and as such I am learning at an exponential rate. Unfortunately, when he was initially cut from the competition, I did not have all the information available on Mr. Hecht. New information has come to light, and I feel that in the interest of a fair and accurate competition, Jochen should be reinstated to the pool of potential Favorite Sabres. I wish him the best of luck in the continuing competition.”

After reading the statement, Katebits declined to answer questions, but when a reporter asked if this was an admission that mistakes had been made by the office of H.R.M, Katebits said, “No comment.”

It remains to be seen how this will effect the eventual outcome of the Favorite Sabre Competition, but pundits agree that Mr. Hecht must now been considered amongst the favorites to win. When reached at his East Lansing home for comment, Ryan Miller was quoted by another news source as saying,

“I’m just trying to keep my head on straight so I can stay in the game. I don’t know what Katebits is thinking right now, but I do know that I am going to everything I can to be the best professional goalie and fan favorite I can be. Jochen Hecht is a friend and a teammate, but he had better hope that he didn’t teach me too many of his charming tricks. I’m going to do my best to put him, and the other remaining Sabres in my rearview mirror. Becoming Kate’s Favorite Sabre has been a lifelong dream. Don’t count me out just yet.”

With this unprecedented move, H.R.M. Katebits has stunned the hockey community and sent the competitors into frenzy of reorganization. On Friday morning, Derek Roy filed a request that his application also be reinstated, suggesting that he can provide new evidence that he should be Kate’s Favorite Sabre. Derek Roy was cut from consideration Thursday night and it is not expected that his request will be granted.

Buffalo, NY

Toni Tony Tone, Timmy, and Roysie

(This post is a part of a series entitled “Kate’s Favorite Sabre Competition” in which I am choosing my 2007/08 favorite Sabre by process of elimination. Each and every Sabre is a hero, but in the end, there can be only one favorite.)

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Let’s dig right in to our fourth round of cuts, shall we?

Toni Lydman #5

Toni Lydman made it a lot farther in this competition than I thought he would. I have no idea why, but I kind of like this fella. I suspect that my affection for Toni Lydman is based on two things:

1. He’s grinning like loon in his roster photo. (Note to non-smiley Sabres: Why so grumpy?)
2. When I did an image search for Toni Lydman, I found this, this, and this. I totally dig the many faces of Toni Tony Tone, and I admire a man who is not afraid to mix it up, hair-wise.

Toni likes to listen to “thrash metal” (whatever that is), and I’m a classical musician by trade. I can’t help but imagine the two of us together on a long car ride, fighting good-naturedly for control of the radio, each secretly enjoying the others music. I could teach him to like Bartok, and he could teach me to like TestAmenT. We’d be so cute together!

Oh, who am I kidding? These “opposites attract” things never last. Toni, this just isn’t going to work…but at least we’ll always have that awesome road trip to remember. Dollywood ’07, Baby!!! Whoooo-OOooo!!!

Tim Connolly #19

Tim Connolly is a little too pretty for my tastes. Something about those luscious lips just don’t say “Favorite Sabre” to me. Also, all I ever hear about is how Timmy is only one concussion away from needing to hire a full-time drool wiper. His delicacy scares me, and I don’t think I can handle a year of watching him play while peeking through the fingers over my eyes. The Sabres have high hopes for Tim Connolly, and I hear that if he can put together a full, injury-free season, it’s possible he’ll make us forget all about Daniel Briere. Hell, yeah, is all I have to say about that.

I have every hope that someday Connolly’s delicateness will be overshadowed by his badassedness, and when that day comes, I will happily revisit his “Favorite Sabre” status. Until then, buckle your seat-belt, watch your head, and don’t get hurt, Timmy.

Derek Roy #9

Derek Roy reminds me of so many boys that I have known over the years. He’s that guy that you used to hate in your math class, but then when you hung out with him in art class, he was almost kind of cool. You’ve known him since you were both little kids. For years your best friend had a crush on him, and (even though you warned her that he was a punk) she finally made out with him at the homecoming dance. Of course he was really rude to her in the halls after that, and so you had to pretend that you hated him even though you didn’t. Frankly, your friend was kind of an idiot, and he really hadn’t done anything that horrible…..he was just being Derek. And then, years later you ran into him in a bar, and he brought her up (your friend) and he told you that he had always felt badly about how he treated her, and that he had only ignored her because she made him so nervous. You admitted that you didn’t think it was that big a deal, and that you never really had, and you apologized for siding so strongly with your girlfriend all those years ago. So you guys had a laugh about how stupid everyone was in high school, and you suddenly realized that you had known Derek Roy for twenty years, but until that moment, you had never realized that you two were kind of friends. For a brief second in the bar you thought, “Whoa, am I hot for Derek?” But thankfully, you quickly came to your senses, because…..eww. No.

There is so much to like about Derek Roy’s playing. He’s scrappy, fast, and dynamic; but then there is the diving and the whining, and I’m sorry…….but, eww. No. I am however extremely glad to have him on the team for the next six years, and I look forward to seeing if he can step up into a leadership role in the absence of the co-captains next season. I don’t really have the hockey smarts to speculate too much on his potential production, but he’s clearly a key member of the little crew of guys that came up from Rochester. At this point, they’ve all known each other forever. It’s time for Derek to dive (see how I did that?) right into his “hockey adulthood”.

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Alright, Dear Readers, this is it. After this round, there are no more easy cuts. Brace yourselves because it’s going to get ruthless in here!

Maybe This Will Be Our Year

For me, loving the Sabres is inexorably connected to my relationship with Buffalo. I needed to find a way to love Buffalo, and so I started loving the Sabres. Obviously, at this point my love has taken on a life of its own, but it was only a few months ago when I thought of a good hockey team as nothing more than a surprising perk of living in WNY.

If free agency and the following city-wide outrage taught me anything, it’s that I need to create a little bit of a safety-zone surrounding my Sabres fandom. If loving the Sabres is always connected to how I love Buffalo (and vice versa) I will be driven slowly insane. I can’t take it personally every time a free agent leaves town, or it won’t be long before I am nodding my head in agreement with Bucky Gleason. (Ew.)

I suspect that I will continue to circle around this issue for quite some time before I make my peace with it, but today I am feeling nostalgic for the carefree days of my very earliest fandom, when the Sabres were helping me settle into Buffalo for the first time in six years.

The following originally appeared on Oh For Fun, on May 14th, 2007:

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Buffalonian

I am in the midst of an absolute communion with the city of Buffalo.

Over the last few weeks, there has been a mounting excitement/anxiety that has effected every man, woman, and child in Buffalo. Everyone is talking about the Sabres. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. We are obsessed, and we are desperate.

And now, once again, thanks to a faltering sports team, poor little Buffalo is struggling with a collective depression that you can literally feel in the air. Remember, this is a town which suffered four Super Bowl losses in a row in the early 90’s. The Sabres are down two games to none, and an old familiar sadness has settled over the city.

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I need to be more grateful for my life in Buffalo. Regardless of whatever else Buffalo is, it is my home, and I am happy here. I have wonderful friends and a great job. There is nothing more beautiful than a Buffalo springtime. The buildings here are gorgeous, even though many of them need a little TLC. This is a friendly town. My very first day in Buffalo was September 11th 2001, and even on that terrible day, I felt the warmth of this city. We are scrappy, we are home-spun, and we are trying our very hardest to pretend the winters aren’t totally hideous.

I believe I ended up in Buffalo for a reason. It’s probably nothing lofty or glamorous, but I am convinced that Buffalo has something to teach me, something very important and valuable. Over the last few days I have been identifying with this city in a way that I haven’t done in six years. I can feel Buffalo struggling to cast aside its long history of losing, and my heart swells. The Stanley Cup might not be the object of my heart’s desire, but I recognize the feeling. This town is yearning, and so am I. This town is defensive and prideful and tough, and so am I. Just like Buffalo, my biggest problem is my own tattered self image.

So, here I am, bumbling along in a city that seems like a perfect reflection of how I feel. Imperfect, feisty, and reasonably priced (hee). Springtime is finally here. The leaves on the trees are sprouting, covering the branches broken in our October snow storm. The Stanley Cup won’t solve Buffalo’s problems, just like winning another audition won’t solve mine, but still, every spring in Buffalo feels like a miracle of hope.

Maybe this will be our year.

Tree, Petey, and T.V.

(This post is a part of a series entitled “Kate’s Favorite Sabre Competition” in which I am choosing my 2007/08 favorite Sabre by process of elimination. Each and every Sabre is a hero, but in the end, there can be only one favorite.)

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Before I delve too deeply into the third round of Favorite Sabre cuts, I have something to say: I’ve been feeling quite guilty about my early dismissal of the delightful Jochen Hecht. In retrospect, he deserved better, and I wish that I had kept him around for a few more rounds. But what’s done, is done. I don’t think Yo-Yo was going to go the distance anyway, so all his early exit means is a few extra days on the golf course, right? I don’t want to lead him on, only to disappoint him later when he is more emotionally invested. Jochen seems like he might take rejection pretty hard, and I hope he knows I was just looking out for his best interests. And again, just because I haven’t chosen him now, doesn’t mean he won’t become my Favorite Sabre the second the season begins. Let’s not forget, this competition is utter bullshit.

So without further ado,

In the third round I present to you a trio of men for whom I have feelings that are quite out of step with the average Buffalonian. Let’s meet them now….

Dmitri Kalinin #45

Oh, poor Dmitri Kalinin! When people around Buffalo aren’t bitching ruthlessly about his rotten defensive prowess, they are speculating on the fragile state of his psyche. Sweet, sweet Dmitri is prone to devastating lapses of confidence that effect every aspect of his play….or at least that’s what they say on AM 550; and this is the problem as I see it for Dmitri Kalinin. I mean, honestly, can life get more undignified than when Schopp and the Bulldog are speculating about your mental health?

Poor, baby.

I am a professional violist. Playing music for a living certainly isn’t as stressful as playing hockey, but I can relate on some level to buckling under the pressure to perform. I genuinely feel bad for this poor guy. Here he is, clearly struggling, and the whole town is angry and disappointed, and he’s letting everyone down, and the more he tries, the worse it gets, and it’s all just a vicious cycle.

Sadly, a desire to mother Dmitri really doesn’t translate well into holding him up on a pedestal as my Favorite Sabre, so I have no choice but to eliminate him from the competition. I am cutting him from the competition, but I do so with tremendous love and tenderness in my heart. Dmitri, just because you’re not my Favorite Sabre, doesn’t mean you aren’t a great guy. Seriously. If you ever need to talk, you know where to find me. I’m here for you, buddy.

Andrew Peters #76

Petey’s job, as far as I can tell, is to punch people. In regular life, he would be called an “asshole”, but in hockey, he is called an “enforcer”. Accepting the idea that fighting is a genuine part of the game was one of the most startling tasks for me as a beginning hockey fan. I am the child of Minnesota hippies. We do not punch. We talk it out. Discovering that I have a taste for hot guys punching each other has been….borderline alarming, to be honest.

The thing I like about Andrew Peters is he really doesn’t seem like a tough guy. He actually seems like a little bit of a clown….a cocky clown, but still, a harmless goofball at heart. People in Buffalo LOVE to complain about how much he sucks at skating, and I’m sure he does, but if he sucks so bad, why are the Sabres keeping him around? It would seem that they are keeping him around because everybody in the organization really likes him……and that makes me like him a little too. I think that instead of punching, Petey’s primary role is to be a good teammate and to keep things light in the locker room. I could be way off base with this, but I think Andrew Peters might be a pretty decent guy.

All that said, Kate’s Favorite Player can NOT be a sucky enforcer.

Andrew Peters, you are out. Auf Wiedershen!

Thomas Vanek #26

I really thought that once I wrote a letter explaining my anger, I would be able to forgive Thomas Vanek for his recent slutty behavior. Well, it turns out I’m just not ready. I am certain that once the season begins and TV gets an opportunity to earn his contract, he will find a way back into my good graces, but for now, he is going to have to live with the fact that he is being cut from the Favorite Sabre Competition in the same round as Dmitri Kalinin and Andrew Peters.

We reap what we sow, Thomas. (Oh, and congratulations on the birth of your son.)

Round three is complete! The competition is heating up as we get closer and closer to the start of hockey season. Stay tuned to learn who’s dreams will be dashed, and who will ultimately be crowned: KATE’S FAVORITE SABRE!!!!


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In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Willful Caboose uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey my criticism and inform the public of the Sabres' suckitude/badassitude (whatever the case may be). Photos on The Willful Caboose are used without permission, but do not interfere with said owner's profit. If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail me (willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will be more than happy willing to oblige. (Special thanks to The Pensblog for their help with this disclaimer.)

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