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!!!!

17 Responses to “Tree, Petey, and T.V.”


  1. 1 Heather B. August 22, 2007 at 12:20 am

    Oh, Tri. I wrote a whole entry on my blog (I’m a Tri Hugger)about how much I want to protect him from the cruel, cruel world around him. He’s a very good defensemen – for much of the season, one of our best – but one little teeny tiny mistake and he just… unravels for weeks. I can understand why people get frustrated with him but I think he’s also become the scapegoat.

    Too bad. The poor guy really needs to be someone’s favorite player.

  2. 2 Katebits August 22, 2007 at 12:32 am

    I am certain you are the one who influenced my decision to be sympathetic about Kalinin, Heather!

  3. 3 Steph August 22, 2007 at 12:34 am

    Um, Katebits, the reason they keep Andrew Peters around is because after cutting Ty Conklin free they realized if they got rid of every player who exists only to be complained about, they would leave me with no Sabre to properly love and (under)appreciate. (That said, this Peters character is still under investigation. I’m not quite sure he’s a proper Ty replacement, not yet…)

  4. 4 Heather B. August 22, 2007 at 12:46 am

    I am certain you are the one who influenced my decision to be sympathetic about Kalinin, Heather!

    That makes one person I’ve convinced!

  5. 5 Meg August 22, 2007 at 1:00 am

    Kate, the fact that Kalinin made it to the third round and was then dismissed in a kind manner makes me happy (although not as happy as Heather’s Tri Hugger post.

    While he’s not my favorite player he’s rather embarrassingly high up the list, so I’m always sad about the “I never want to see him on the ice in a Sabres uniform again!” people. Honestly, one round, people, he played one round badly. Very badly, I know, but he is hardly the worst defenseman to ever put on a Sabres uniform. I think people would actually hate him less if he was consistently mediocre. The fact that he’s sometimes so good causes people to raise their expectations and then they get all pissy.

    Er, Steph, Kalinin might actually be a better Ty Conklin replacement than Peters now that I think about it. In fact, he might be my Conklin, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Either way, I would argue that he’s a better “exists only to be complained about” player than Peters.

  6. 6 Heather B. August 22, 2007 at 1:13 am

    I think people would actually hate him less if he was consistently mediocre. The fact that he’s sometimes so good causes people to raise their expectations and then they get all pissy.

    Meg, I never really thought of it like this, but I think you’re right. Mark tells me that Tri came up with the expectations that he was going to be a top pairing d-man some day and I think That’s hurt him too. Fans have just never been able to adjust from that. I’m very defensive about the Tri-Teppo pairing, I have to say.

  7. 7 Steph August 22, 2007 at 3:30 am

    Meg, I wouldn’t dream of taking your Ty Conklin, though! I mean, half the charm of Ty Conklin is being the only one who loves him. Or maybe I just don’t want to share.

    Maybe I need to stop looking at this as needing a replacement Ty Conklin. I mean, there’s no one stopping me from still loving Conks (well, except maybe the fact that Elly cries every time I mention him) – and even if I find a new mostly useless Sabre to love, he certainly won’t be what Ty was. Hmmm.

  8. 8 Meg August 22, 2007 at 8:54 am

    I’m very defensive about the Tri-Teppo pairing, I have to say.

    Heh…I’ve become adept at pulling up numbers that prove they played much harder minutes than the Campbell-Spacek pairing (something which is, in fact, true). Largely because I hate the Numminen-is-now-useless line of thought even more than the Tri-bashing. Of course the fact that Spacek is loathed by the majority of Sabres fans doesn’t really help my case.

  9. 9 Schnookie August 22, 2007 at 10:25 am

    I am shocked and appalled that Peters got farther in this contest than Yo-Yo. I have to say, if I was pursuing this exercise, he would have been my first cut. In fact, I would probably have approached him not unlike how I approach Cam Janssen on the Devils — I’d just pretend he’s not there. He’d never even get consideration to be cut in the first place.

  10. 10 Pookie August 22, 2007 at 10:31 am

    I cannot wait for the day when there are no more enforcers in hockey. Not that I’m especially anti-fighting. I guess I just want tough guys who can still skate to do the fighting, instead of jerkwads like Peters and Janssen. Glad Petey was cut!

  11. 11 Katebits August 22, 2007 at 11:00 am

    As for Peters, well, whatever. I just kind of like him. I’m sowing my wild hockey oats here, m’kay? I insist you cut me some slack (Jochen has).

  12. 12 Schnookie August 22, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    I will NEVER cut you any slack! NEVER!!!

    :P

  13. 13 Katebits August 22, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    I know, Schnookie! You’ve been SUCH A HARD ASS about my lack of hockey wisdom. I mean, GAWD, why are you so mean?

  14. 14 andrew August 22, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    “In regular life, he would be called an “asshole”, but in hockey, he is called an “enforcer”.”

    Comedy gold, Katebits. But yeah, overall he’s kind of a lousy enforcer. All though, he did beat up Ray Emery. That stunt alone puts him up a notch in my book.

    As for Vanek! At The Disco…well, he’d better be eating his godamn wheaties. Lowe saddled us with him for a looong time, I just hope he performs.

    I’m gonna call it right now, 3 years from today, if he’s potting 50+ goals a season, he’s going to make a serious run at “Kate’s new favorite Sabre”. You watch!

  15. 15 Katebits August 22, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I’m gonna call it right now, 3 years from today, if he’s potting 50+ goals a season, he’s going to make a serious run at “Kate’s new favorite Sabre”. You watch!

    Oh for sure, andrew! I make no apologies for my two-faced ways when it comes to sports figures. One day I hate him, but the next I’ll love him.

  16. 16 Schnookie August 22, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    I know, Schnookie! You’ve been SUCH A HARD ASS about my lack of hockey wisdom. I mean, GAWD, why are you so mean?

    It’s just the same kind of tough love you’re showing the Sabres. It’s good for the soul, I think.

  17. 17 Katebits August 22, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    ….and even if I find a new mostly useless Sabre to love, he certainly won’t be what Ty was.

    Steph, I think there is really only one Ty Conklin, and that is the Ty Conklin. I think you shouldn’t try to force it with anybody else. He’s the one for you! :P


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