Archive for the 'Ales Kotalik' Category

You Say Goodbye, And I Say Hello.

Okay, the initial burst of free agency is over, and while we’re all still holding our breaths for the magical all-our-bad-players-in-exchange-for-Malkin trade of our dreams, it’s time to take stock of the current situation. Who’s in and who’s out?

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OUT: Mark Mancari

Mark Mancari, I absolutely refused to give up on you, and I’m sad you’ve moved on.  I’ll miss you… not so much your playing (which always seemed super fabulous to me, actually), but definitely your tall swarthiness.  Good luck in Vancouver, and don’t party too hard at the Roxy.

Mark Mancari

Now the Sabres don't have a player who looks like he might moonlight as a pirate. :(

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IN: Robyn Regehr

I’m totally, totally psyched that we’re going to have a stay-at-home, punchy defenseman named “Robyn” on the Sabres.  Thanks for waiving your no trade clause, Robyn. Please let me apologize in advance for your new nickname, which is “Sloth”. Yes, you do remind me a teensy-tiny bit of that guy from the Goonies, but I assure you, “Sloth” is a term of affection at my house.  There is no one I’d rather have on my side in case of a Mama Fratelli-related emergency than you, Robyn. Welcome to the team!

"Baby Ruuu-th?"

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OUT: Rob Niedermayer

Dude Nieds, I finally learned how to spell your name, and then you had to go and move to Switzerland.

Well, thanks for that one goal you scored that one time! (No, but seriously, thanks for getting waaaay better in the playoffs. That was awesome. Hopefully some of these scrubs learned a thing or two from you.)

He's the best looking of all the Niedermayers!

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IN: Ales Kotalik

Wait….what?

Um...okaaaay.

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OUT: Steve Montador

This one stings a bit. There are just some guys you like, and Steve Montador is one of those guys. I wanted him to stay, and I feel a little bit like Monty got the shaft. I mean, he was totally a part of the Sabres bridge from suckiness to not-so-suckiness, and it doesn’t feel fair that he got the heave-ho. On the other hand he signed a FAT contract in Chicago, so I think he’ll survive without us just fine. (I fully expect for Monty to start showing up in the background of all the, “Patrick Kane Is On Another Bender” articles on Deadspin. As the designated driver, or course.) Good luck, Monty. Thanks for being all-around awesome, and also for wearing that CHIPS outfit at the Catwalk for Charity.

Shaone Morrisonn and Steve Montador

Nice

IN: Ville Leino

Ville Leino, I have a good feeling about this signing, but man, Darcy took a big chance on you. I know that when Darcy said, “I’d like to offer you $27 million dollars, but only if you like playing center,” the only sane response was, “I don’t like playing center, I LOVE playing center,” but, you better be good at playing center. Seriously.

I don’t really know how to tell you this, but you’re sort of the new Vanek in that we-can’t-afford-anyone-else-because-we-gave-all-our-money-to-you sort of way.

Uh, no pressure or anything though.

This expression bodes well.

OUT: Tim Connolly

Bye, Timmeh. Thanks for… everything. I wish things had ended differently, I really do. Mostly I wish you’d gone to, like, the Panthers or some team like that, so I could safely say “good luck,” but now you’re a disgusting Leaf, so you’ve left me no choice but to say, “I hope you never win again.”

Timmm-mehhh

IN: Christian Ehrhoff

This is the contract that really signaled that this is a new era of Sabres hockey. This contract completely blew my mind. Ehrhoff’s contract is mega-cap-circumvent-y and it (theoretically) extends until the end of time.The assumption is that eventually they’ll just buy him out, but still. It completely rocks my world-view that of all the current Sabres, Ehrhoff is the one slated to be around for the longest. In ten years I’ll be forty-five years old which is impossibly old. Surely I’ll be dead by then, right?

Get used to this face, because we’re going to have hoverboards before his contract is up again.

OUT: Chris Butler

There is NOTHING not to love about Chris Butler. I’ll miss you, Butts. Have fun in Calgary, and thanks for being such a good Sabre. I’m sorry I don’t have much to say about you, but this post is going on forever, and I’m really getting tired of writing it. The good thing about you is that I doubt you’ll mind. You seem like such a good sport about this sort of thing.


Good old Butts.

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So, that’s where we stand. We’ve said our goodbyes, and we’ve welcomed the newcomers. I, for one, am ready for the new season to begin!

RIP, Ales Kotalik

I’m on my way out the door to the game, so I only have a few minutes here, but I feel compelled to salute Ales Kotalik before I go.

Ales Kotalik, you will be missed.  No one can replace your terrifying slapshot and your mega-sultry voice.  I think we can assume the Sabres will never win another shootout again, and that is sad, and more than a little scary.  Your jaunty flavor-saver and your oddly attractive bulbous nose are moving on to Edmonton, and Buffalo shall be a far less sexy place as a result.

Farewell, Ales.  Good luck in Edmonton.  I hear they have a big mall there.  Perhaps you could open a boutique for your hats.  Say, “Katebits says hello,” to all the 1st round draft picks that could have been Sabres if Kevin Lowe’s dastardly plot to steal Vanek had worked.  All the best in the future, and I wish things had ended differently.

Na shledano, my darling.

Let’s Blow This Baby Up

I’m kind of a drama queen when it comes to the Sabres (although oddly, I’m not a drama queen in any other area of my life), so I felt a little bit of vindication when I made my morning blog rounds today.  It seems I’m not the only person who thought that that was THE WORST HOCKEY GAME IN THE HISTORY OF TIME AND SPACE.  I mean, I’ve seen the Sabres suck plenty of times before, but that game last night was an abomination.  I’m not sure that either team successfully completed a pass all night.  I will forever remember that game as ten guys standing in the middle of the rink kicking the puck around randomly with their skates.  For all I know, they didn’t even USE hockey sticks last night.

But the details about last night are neither here nor there.  The main point is that the Sabres are not a good hockey team.  I’ll admit, I’ve lost ALL patience for waiting around for this particular group of guys to pull it together.  It’s not going to happen.  Drastic steps must be taken.

I’m not ordinarily the type of blogger to play the role of GM.  I don’t feel very confident with my hockey analysis, but this situation has inspired me to go out on a limb and write a serious post about what I would do if I were the GM of the Sabres.  In my opinion, this team needs a major shake-up.

Here are the moves I would make:

Tim Connolly should be retired and sent to a farm to live out his remaining years grazing peacefully.  It’s the most humane solution at this point.

Drew Stafford should be traded for Evgeni Malkin.

Derek Roy‘s talent should be surgically extracted and implanted into Paul Gaustad.  This is a dangerous scheme because there’s a risk that Goose could be infected with some of Roy-Z’s personality as well as his talent (that, of course, would be disastrous/tragic), but I’m sure we can all agree that a Goose/Roy-Z hybrid would be a useful player to have around.  I think it’s worth the risk.  After the talent transferring procedure, the now talentless Derek Roy can become Goose’s personal assistant.  Everyone wins….except Goose, who now has a talentless Derek Roy following him around all the time.

Ryan Miller needs his glass eye removed and replaced with a real eye.  He’s done pretty well with one glass eye, considering, but it’s clear that he needs two good eyes to compete in the NHL.  He might as well get his wonky eyebrow re-cocked while he’s at it.

Jason Pominville needs to be taken off the point on the power play.

Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman need to be sent out into the deep forest and each be given a match, a single bottle of water, and a penknife.  They have 48 hours to hunt and kill the other.  Whoever comes out alive gets to keep his job.

Thomas Vanek should be paid $7.1 million dollars per year for the next six years.

Clarke MacArthur should be traded to the Blackhawks for Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane.

Max Afinogenov and Ales Kotalik should be melted down and then recast as Christmas tree ornaments which the Sabres wives and girlfriends can then sell in the concourse to benefit charity.

Andrew Peters should be waived and Adam Mair should start actively practicing punching people and being punched in return.

Patrick Kaleta should be sent to Portland, and Danny Paille should start actively practicing being really, really annoying.

Nathan Paetsch should be traded for Nicklas Lidstrom.

Craig Rivet should be returned to the San Jose Sharks.  This is a mercy trade made of behalf of Rivet who is probably looking at his old team with extreme longing right about now.  This poor dude was living a perfectly happy life in California a few months ago, and now, through no fault of his own, he’s the CAPTAIN of this train wreck.  Poor dude.  I want to set him free.

Mark Mancari, Nathan Gerbe, and Tim Kennedy should all be given trial jobs with the Sabres, but they should be FORBIDDEN from socializing with any of their elder teammates.  Everyday after practice they should be chauffeured to their grim apartments at the Extended Stay America off the 290, and supervised for the remainer of the day.  If any of them even glances wistfully at Chippewa St, they should be automatically fired/executed.

Teppo Numminen should be compelled to retire so that he may begin some sort of job which involves him standing behind the bench with James Patrick looking foxy in a well tailored suit.

Jaroslav Spacek should call a press conference and then bite the head off the pigeon so that we never have to hear about that dumb thing again.  (This isn’t so much of a personnel move as it is a personal request from me to Jaro.)

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So that’s what I would do if I were GM.

The Girlfriends

Nearly everyday I get hits from people searching for things like, “Jason Pominville girlfriend,” and “Derek Roy girlfriend”. I feel badly that my website is such a poor source of information for these internet sleuths. Clearly, there is a need for information about the wives and girlfriends of hockey players, and clearly my site is not providing my readership with the information they so desperately seek. In an effort to keep my readers informed, the TWC interns have been furiously researching this exciting topic.

If you have ever wondered, “Just who are the Sabres dating?”, your wait is over. TWC has the answers.

Of all of the girlfriends, Derek Roy’s was the easiest to track down. We caught up with her in the classroom in Williamsville where she teaches scrapbooking. Her name is Barbie, and she and Derek have been together for two years. They met at Soho on a magical night in 2005. “I’d had a few drinks!” admits Barbie, “But we didn’t hook up that night, I swear! ” Barbie says that she and Derek have plans to be married in the Spring of 2011, just as soon as Derek picks out the engagement ring. When asked to comment, Derek said, “Barbie? Yeah, she’s fun.”

Math is HARD!

Ales Kotalik has been dating Princess Beatrice of Brattenburg since 1824. Their courtship has been interrupted several times by persistent rumors that the two families are plagued by hemophilia and that a match between them would lead to certain sickliness in the royal line. “We feel that any damage done to royal European lineage would certainly be offset by the degree to which our union would further the cause of world peace,” Princess Beatrice told TWC through a spokesman.

Ales and Beatrice just want to be together.

Jason Pominville’s live-in girlfriend is the three-year-old (that’s twenty-one in dog years) chew toy, Squeakers. Squeakers was a gift from teammate Ryan Miller after Jason’s 2006 shorthanded playoff goal ended the series against Ottawa. Squeakers and Pommerdoodle enjoy hide-and-seek, rough housing, and napping in the sun.

Hands off, guys! She only squeaks for Pommers!

Ryan Miller has been dating a cactus named Josie since late April. “After the playoffs were over I realized that life can’t be all about hockey, you also have to make friends and influence people, so I started dating Josie. Josie is great. When I first met her she was a little distant and off-putting, but since then she has really blossomed. Jo really digs my photography and we just have a lot of fun together. I think it’s important that everyone has someone special with whom to share the meaningful moments in life. Josie is very grounded and undemanding, but at the same time she is very supportive. I’m a fortunate guy.”

Josie only needs to be watered twice a month.

Paul Gaustad has been with the same girl, since he was seventeen-years-old. When asked about the pressures of maintaining a steady relationship while living the glamorous life of a professional athlete, Goose replied, “Love is the foundation of a relationship, standing in front of the net is the foundation of my career, and balance is the foundation of my life. Sure, it’s a lot of hard work, but being in a good relationship is worth the effort. Sometimes, because of the lifestyle, feathers get ruffled, but I am very loyal to my wonderful girlfriend, Miss Foxy Gander.”

Goose likes fat chicks.

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So there you have it, ladies! All the news that’s fit to print about your favorite player’s favorite girl!

Jaro, Al, and T-Bone

(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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There has been an incredible response to my request for Favorite Sabre candidates. Buffalo is a city full of rabid hockey fans, and I’ll admit, I was somewhat concerned that the boys would not feel the need to clamor for my affection. Luckily, my loyal scribe, Tim Laudner (Original Favorite Player) wrote the Sabres an especially poignant letter, and his impassioned plea seems to have struck a chord with the young team. I have in fact, received applications from all of the Sabres except for two: Ryan Miller and Dmitri Kalinin. I suspect Ryan is playing hard to get, and Dimitri, well….the poor dear is dreadfully shy. Hopefully, with gentle coaxing from his life coaches, he can overcome his crippling fear, and eventually apply for the job.

Tim and I have been hard at work sifting through the Sabres resumes and headshots. We are at a severe disadvantage because between us, we still know very little about hockey. Tim is a former Minnesota Twins baseball player, and I am a very new hockey fan. With so little experience to draw from, we have found ourselves somewhat befuddled by the daunting task of choosing a new Favorite Sabre.

In order to lubricate this process, I have decided that the best approach is to start with the easiest players to eliminate. While I appreciate each Sabre’s contribution on the ice, not every man can be my favorite, and there are several players who can be immediately removed from further consideration. I present three such men now.

Jaroslav Spacek #6

I may not be the most seasoned fan, but I do have eyes and ears. My ears have told me that everyone in Buffalo loves to hate Jaroslav Spacek. My eyes have told me…well, let’s just say he is not doing himself any favors with that anvil-shaped head. It seems Jaro has failed expectations on nearly every level as a Sabre. He played very well as a member of the Edmonton Oilers, so I have not given up on him entirely, but his current role as “fan punching bag” makes him an unlikely candidate for “Kate’s Favorite Sabre”. It’s entirely possible that someday I will opt to champion an unlikely favorite, but in my very first year as a fan, I can’t go out on a limb for a guy like Jaroslav Spacek. I wish him nothing but the best this coming season, and as always, my heart remains open to each and every Sabre.

Ales Kotalik #12

Pookie once suggested that Ales Kotalik looks like he should be wearing a large red sash, and a formal jacket adorned with military medals. I have to say, I agree. Al may be a great guy, but until I need a date to an 18th century Viennese ball, he and I will have to remain “just friends”. I do appreciate his funny little beard and the jaunty gleam in his eye, so while he is not my Favorite Sabre, I will think of Ales with great affection.

Jocelyn Thibault #TBA

Okay, Jocelyn Thibault turned out to be a real shocker. I put him on this list without thinking twice because I figured that his newness, combined with the name “Jocelyn”, combined with his role as a back-up goaltender would all add up to certain disqualification from the competition. Imagine my surprise when I went to the Sabres website and found this guy! He’s delightful! So cute! Not only is he cute, but he’s 32, and I appreciate having a new, age-appropriate crush on our fresh-faced Sabres team. Plus, his name (which I initially foresaw as a problem) lends itself extremely well to the nickname “T-Bone”. (I think his last name is pronounced TEE-Bogh.) T-Bone is a stellar nickname. All-in-all, Jocelyn is off to a great start with me. While I still feel it’s unwise to choose a back-up goaltender for the important role of Favorite Sabre, Jocelyn Thibault may very well end up with the title of “Favorite Sabre To Watch Joshing Around On the Bench.” We’ll see.

So there you have it; the first round of cuts is complete. The role of Kate’s Favorite Sabre is still up for grabs, and you can assume that Tim and I will be hard at work in the coming weeks, weighing and re-weighing each young man’s qualifications. As always, I appreciate any and all contributions from my readers, so please feel free to chime in in support of your favorite Sabre.


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