Welcome To Buffalo

Dear Nolan Pratt,

This is no doubt an exciting and confusing time for you. You were all set to move to Russia, but at the eleventh hour you got a call from Darcy Regier asking if you would like to play for Buffalo. In a whirlwind you signed with the Sabres. Then, one day after signing with the team, and after six months away from hockey, you were thrust into a game against the Florida Panthers.

“No matter”, you surely thought. “The Sabres are a good team. They can absorb a new player with ease, and the Panthers are pretty bad. This shouldn’t be so tricky.”

Oh, you poor, poor dear.

You see, we have a bit of a…..situation, in Buffalo right now. I’m so sorry that your first game had to be the Florida game, but on the other hand, there is really no hiding from the reality of the….situation. As much as I’d like to protect you (at least until you are more comfortable in your new city), the…..situation….is unavoidable. Please, as you read this letter, try not to panic. While the…..situation….may seem dire, it is not necessarily permanent. We have reason to hope.

I’ll be blunt: Everyone is freaking out. The players are spazzing. Lindy is having kittens right and left. Mike Robitaille is pounding the telecast podium with increasing regularity, and Kevin Sylvester’s normally rosy cheeks are getting sallow. The fans are booing. Bucky Gleason is gloating. Fruit is withering on the vine, and dogs and cats are getting along. Something is very, very wrong in Sabreland.

The good news for you is that you will get ample opportunity to shine on this team. While the…..situation….is making fools out of some players, it also offers tremendous rewards for anyone who’s not playing like they have an anvil strapped to each foot. What I am trying to tell you is that you can probably wind up being the captain of this team, as long as you don’t suck completely.

You have joined the Sabres at an awkward time, and for that, I am sorry. If there is anything I can do to help ease your transition, please do not hesitate to ask. Try to keep in mind that the Sabres are a tremendously talented team, and with the proper emotional reprogramming, they certainly have the potential to excel. The best psychologists have been contacted, and the Sabres organization is doing everything it can to fix the mental glitch that has handcuffed nearly every player. Please, try to be patient with your new teammates. They are young, and (as I’m sure you’ve already noticed) painfully inept at adapting to change.

Sincerely,

H.R.M. Katebits

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