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.

21 Responses to “Yo-Yo, Staffy, and Mairsy”


  1. 1 Pookie August 28, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Dear Katebits,

    I don’t need your stinkin’ KFS award! In fact, I stomp on it!

    *sobs and runs away*

    Sincerely,
    Staffy

  2. 2 Pookie August 28, 2007 at 10:29 am

    P.S. Pookie says she’s never speaking to you again. She told me to tell you that she’s very disappointed and upset and will accept no manner of profuse apologies for the fact that you cut me from your list.

    -Staffy

  3. 3 Schnookie August 28, 2007 at 10:35 am

    My God, Katebits — what have you done? I’m not sure Pookie will ever be the same after this. Our Buffalo trip? The one we were planning in order to attend games with you? And to finally — I don’t know — meet you in person? It’s in jeopardy now. For appearance’s sake, you really could have let Staffy get to the finals, you know. (Unless it’s Crunchy you’re keeping on until the finals just for appearances…)

    (By they way, I applaud the maturity and self-confidence that went into cutting Mair. He seems like a great choice on the surface, so it takes a lot of courage to step up and admit he’s just a bit too subtle for your tastes as they currently stand. I’m sure Mair will rise to the occasion, and spend this season endeavoring to make his every charm totally obvious, and that’s something that can only make the Sabres better. This search for Kate’s Favorite is going to improve the team! Nicely done!)

  4. 4 Pookie August 28, 2007 at 10:36 am

    [SCREAMS OF OUTRAGE]

    OK, now that I’ve screamed my outrage all throughout my neighborhood (good thing everyone’s away on vacation) I can think about this rationally. You make very good points for cutting Yo-Yo and Mairsy… and yes, Staffy. (I knew he’d never make it to the top, and if I were you, I’d be very nervous about his impending popularity with the Trapper Keeper set.) But here’s the deal: I don’t think he’s outrageously cocky. Remember this is a kid who had the talent to be playing in the NHL last year but instead spent the entire year being shuffled up and down. All year. He was never anything but gracious about it all. He never got to even practice with the big team until the very end of the year because the GM has mismanaged the salary cap. So even while he was being asked to step in and play big in the NHL, he was being forced to drive back to Rochester to practice with the little team. (He’s also shown in interview after interview in college and in the pros that he’s got a self-depreciating sense of humor that balances out a lot of the cockiness.)

    OK, I’ll stop now. It just…. Staffy.

  5. 5 Katebits August 28, 2007 at 10:56 am

    You know, I really debated about Staffy and his suppossed “cockiness”. I suspected that the cockiness was a figment of my imagination, in fact I seriously considered emailing you about him, but I didn’t want to tip my hand in terms of the KFS competition. I just…..feel like he’s cocky. I totally hear you. I’m sure I’m wrong. Now that I think about it, I’m certain I’ve never heard him speak, so I guess I’m basing my entire opinion of his personality on his roster photo. (Come on, you have to admit, that’s quite a sneer he’s rocking in that photo.) The other thing to keep in mind is that although you guys have been following him since his zygote days, I have not. Currently all of Buffalo is heaping praise onto Staffy, and leadership skills, and 40 goals, and just stupid expectations, and it gets on my nervies a little. (Which I realize isn’t really his fault.) All I’m saying is that he has no shortage of admirers, and I just think he won’t hurt him to have one person in town keeping a watchful eye on him.

    So, in closing: I went with the least crazy reason for cutting Staffy I could think of. The second least crazy reason was, “I’m scared he’ll stomp on me and light me on fire in my sleep.”

  6. 6 Schnookie August 28, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Katebits, your reasons for cutting Staffy are rational and sound. He certainly does need someone keeping a lid on things for him, considering that the absence of two certain slag-faced whores and the sudden, terrifying shift in Vanek’s career tragectory (that’s right, Vanek. You sign one assy contract and suddenly it’s all seen in a different light…) have thrust him into a position of far greater significance than a guy at his stage of development probably sould be in. That said, he’s practically a Parise. He’ll be fine. And when he’s not fine, he’ll either stomp on things and set them on fire, or he’ll say our favorite Zach-ism: “If I could do that again, I’d handle things differently.”

  7. 7 Pookie August 28, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Oh, Staffy’s roster photo could not look assier, I will definitely give you that. And yeah, the media is definitely going a bit overboard with him. But, I’d say, all teasing aside, don’t hate Staffy now, because if he doesn’t end up a big piece of the Sabres organization a few years from now, I’ll eat my hat.

    And he’s promised me he won’t stomp you or set fire to you in your sleep.

  8. 8 andrew August 28, 2007 at 11:40 am

    NOOOOO!!!! Adam Mair? Kate, that’s cold blooded! He wanted nothing more in the coming season than to punch opponents in the face and be named KFS. Ah well, I’m sure he’ll be back in the running soon!

    p.s. for the record, his nickname is “Scud”. Which is awesome.

  9. 9 Meg August 28, 2007 at 11:46 am

    But here’s the deal: I don’t think he’s outrageously cocky.

    Aw, yeah, I have to say that, far from seeming cocky, Stafford has pretty much displayed the exact attitude you want from a young hockey player. He came into camp last year saying he was going to try his best to make the team and when he didn’t he went down and worked hard in the AHL. After every one of his callups he went back down and instead of sulking or playing in a lackluster manner the way many young players do when their sent down, he played as hard as he could to insure that he would continue being Regier’s first call up. And as if that weren’t enough, he attended the Sabres prospect camp during his summer vacation despite the fact that his making the team is basically a foregone conclusion.

    I agree with Pookie that the media goes a bit overboard at times, but honestly his attitude, in playing and interviews, has been exemplary. I wish all the Sabres young players would behave the way he has.

    That said, I’m ok with the cut. I just would have used his impending popularity with teenage girls the region over as my rationale. :)

    And yes, it’s not such a great roster photo.

  10. 10 Glenn August 28, 2007 at 11:57 am

    well, I didn’t make it to the top 10….whew, now I can relax about studying up on the intricate rules of the greatest sport devised by the mind of man. It was fun, it was a lark, but I think the mc should have attended at least one game, right?
    ….now where’s that bassoon….

  11. 11 Schnookie August 28, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Wait, Glenn isn’t going to be the MC? What is the Sabres’ problem? Are they STUPID???

  12. 12 Katebits August 28, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Oh NO! Glenn, THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! Do we have any legal recourse? WHAT THE FUCK!

  13. 13 Pookie August 28, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Glenn, that’s terrible! I’m so sorry! The Sabres don’t know what they’re missing! Just for this I’m going to boycott going to any more than 2 Sabres games this coming season!

  14. 14 Katebits August 28, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    NOOOOO!!!! Adam Mair? Kate, that’s cold blooded!

    andrew, I hope this doesn’t alter your opinion of me too drastically. I would like to remind you that I have no intention of sticking to this plan. Of all the Sabres, Adam Mair is probably the one I would choose to hang out with if given the opportunity. Adam Mair is just too good for me. In a year or so I’ll have more hockey street cred and I can make another go of it with Mairsy…..if he’ll have me back.

  15. 15 Gambler August 28, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    July 1st, 2008

    *whimper* I’m doing my best to pretend that date doesn’t exist. (Please, please don’t leave me, Yo-Yo!)

    Adam Mair has made a surprising move into a solid second position in my personal favorite Sabre ranking this off-season, but I completely respect your reasons for not naming him KFS. Unless he’s punching Jason Spezza in the face (seriously, hott), there aren’t very many moments you can point to and say “There! That’s why he’s my favorite!” (Although if you’re looking for real hockey reasons to love him, I would say look no further than last playoffs, when he was working harder than everyone except Crunchy. That was his first step to eventually claiming second place in my heart.) But I think he has great S,PW potential and he’ll be sticking around for at least a few years, if not for forever, so I can’t wait to see the how the Kate and Scud story unfolds over the course of the season.

    As for Staffy, well, he has a lot of growing to do. I don’t think he’s ripe enough to be named KFS just yet. But time will certainly tell. (And that roster photo does indeed scream “Everyone must bow down before me,” I agree, but I generally don’t get that vibe from Staffy.)

  16. 16 Mags August 28, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Glenn, dude, I had everyone I know vote for you! And I reminded them to do it every day. Boo Sabres!

  17. 17 will August 28, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    once this upcoming season starts, and you get a few games under your belt, you will wish you hadn’t cut drew so soon. in fact, i’m stating right now that you will secretly be admiring staffy more than whomever wins the title of KFS. although, with the bold-faced honesty and openness you’re exhibiting, it may not be so secret (maybe even blatant).

    it’s never too late for reinstatement. remember that.

  18. 18 andrew August 28, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    “andrew, I hope this doesn’t alter your opinion of me too drastically.”

    It’s cool Kate, I was just a little surprised, that’s all. I had $20 on Mair going all the way to the Finals.

    I’m curious to see how this list turns out when the season is over, will the order of cuts be the same? Will KFS remain at the top spot? or will said KFS become the proverbial slag faced whore?

    So exciting!

  19. 19 Katebits August 28, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks for your comment, will! I’m sure you are right about Stafford actually. Fear not, I have NO intention of sticking to my choices in the KFS competition. This is mostly just a fun way to get a preliminary look at the entire cast of characters before the season starts. I wholeheartedly agree that it’s never too late for reinstatement. No one wants to see Staffy (or any other Sabre) succeed more than me!

  20. 20 Heather B. September 3, 2007 at 1:24 am

    I’m curious to see how this list turns out when the season is over, will the order of cuts be the same? Will KFS remain at the top spot? or will said KFS become the proverbial slag faced whore?

    Yes, you should totally do a new ranking at the end of the season so we can see how an entire year of watching the guys play has changed things.

    No danger of Max being a slag faced whore this year atleast since he has two years left on his contract.


  1. 1 KFS II, Attempting to Right What Once Went Wrong: Jochen Hecht « The Willful Caboose Trackback on September 5, 2008 at 4:37 pm

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