(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.)
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.