Archive for June, 2008




Four more years!
Four more years!
Four more years!

*confetti tossing*

Back to Biznatch

1. I can’t buh-LIEVE that tomorrow is free agency. Last year at this time we were in full blown hysteria. Like, SUPER cranky, swirly-eyed, rocking back and forth while muttering incoherently, H-Y-S-T-E-R-I-A. Ah, the good old days.

2. Crunchy’s BFF, John Michael Liles re-signed in Colorado. Bummer. I wanted him for the Sabres.

3. Tampa Bay is gobbling up the negotiating rights to everyone and their mother. WWGRD? Sign in Tampa.

4. Max is still a Sabre. What the hell? Don’t we have, like, forty-five million forwards? My only consolation is that ever since my friend Nathan planted the seed of a new superstition, I’ve become convinced that it’s bad luck not to have a Russian on an NHL team. With Gentle Kalinin on his merry droopy way, Max is the only Russian we’ve got left.

5. I’m not sure where this information originated, but I keep reading online that Goose and Crunchy are vacationing together in Europe. I hope they are backpacking and keeping detailed journals full of poetry and love letters to the college girls they met on the train. It’s life experiences like this that turn boys into men. I hope they both “find themselves” in Europe, and after they do, I hope they come back to Buffalo and sign new contracts with the Sabres. I bet if Drury and Briere had gone backpacking through Europe together last June, they would’ve come home with matching “5 for 25” tattoos and they’d still be Sabres now.

6. Brian Campbell is still Brian Campbell. I’m so glad we traded him so we don’t have to care about his current emotional drama regarding his upcoming free agency. I’m actually a fairly sensitive gal myself. I’m willing to bet I would get all tied-up in emotional knots about free agency too if I were in Soupy’s place, but duuuude, I really really really do NOT think I would have the cojones to whine about my “predicament” in public. I can’t wait to see where he ends up tomorrow, though. After all of this build-up about money and wanting to be close to his family, I’ll be pretty disappointed if the contract is at all reasonable. I kind of secretly want Soupy to sign a 3-year $83 million dollar contract in the Russian Super Duper League, or something. Then, I want to giggle when he cries in public about how hard it was for him to make the decision to move to Minsk.

7. Last year, on July 1st, I sat on the couch literally all day listening to WGR and hitting refresh over and over on my computer while hanging out at IPB. I had one of those evenings where I suddenly realized I was sitting in a pitch dark room because the sun had set on the day without me noticing. I do not anticipate that level of participation in free agency ’08.

Home Again

I’m home from band camp.

While I was away in the wilderness whining about the overabundance of nature (but secretly having a grand old time), my computer died. It died to the point that a certified Apple dealership declared the motherboard (whatever that is) dead and gone. It was a sad, sad time.

So today, after a day spent listened to a looooong concert and then driving the six hours home, I just rolled back into town. (I’m tired and covered in bug bites, if you must know.) For some reason, despite all logic and reason, I decide that I should just check to make sure my computer didn’t magically come back to life during the trip home.

Guess what? It did! My computer came back to life! Upon arrival in Buffalo, my previously unresponsive computer was all, “Oh. Hello there, Kate.” I guess it was just mostly dead.

Coming back to Buffalo after a trip away feels like coming home. That may seem obvious to a lot of you, but frankly, it took me a long time to feel this way about Buffalo. Over the last year and a half I’ve enjoyed reveling in that happy feeling of “Yay! I’m hoooooome” after being away.

I guess my computer feels the same way. Me and my retarded computer….we’re Buffalonians. Out in the wild we get testy.


(Hey, doesn’t NHL free agency start, like, thirty seconds from now? What’s going on with that, anyway? Is Marion Hossa a Sabre yet? Heh. I’ll try to write about hockey again soon. Sorry about all this band camp and computer talk.)


Periodically, as a new sports fan, little bits of the hockey lexicon sound funny to my ear, and I’ve recently taken a shine to the phrase, “The draft pick that later became ‘player x'”.  I read this recently in reference to the trade that indirectly brought Ryan Miller to the Sabres.  “We traded x for y and the draft pick that later became Ryan Miller”.  I like how it implies that the draft pick is a more tangible concept than the pre-drafted player; as if Crunchy sprouted out of a seed that Darcy planted when he chose him at the draft.

When I think about it this way, the draftees take on a “Jack and the Beanstalk” quality.  Darcy is Jack, and the draft picks are potentially magical beans.


What in the HELL is going on in here?! Sam is talking about hockey free agency? In snarky tones? For real?

That does it. I’m taking back the reins.

We’ve got two big problems as I see them, and neither one has to do with a lack of “Bruno”.

1. Goose has still not signed his 15 year contract.
2. I’m stuck in the woods and my computer is dead.

Goose HONK


The Free Agent You Don’t Know You Need

posted by CrotchetyOriginalSam, for reasons which are unlikely to be rehashed anytime soon…

Let’s just get one thing straight, people. There will be no honking as long as I’m running this little show. None. Paul Gaustad may be your little designated pet project around here, and for all I know, he may well spend his off days wearing black and white feather boas and waddling around the house pooping out perfectly cylindrical turds, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to help in saddling a guy with an undeserved reputation for verbalizing in nonsense syllables like a hoarse Gilbert Gottfried.

On to business, and before we even get to anything about Buffalo, you should know that your temporary scribe is in a generally hideous mood today. This is partly because it’s raining in New Hampshire for the ninth day out of the last ten, partly because that little baldheaded twerp Pierre McGuire seems to think that Mats Sundin might end up playing for the Rangers (and, y’know, Pierre’s never wrong about these things, except, like, always), but mostly because the best hockey writer south of the 49th parallel says that Brian Rolston is gearing up to walk away from Minnesota on July 1, after the Wild appeared to throw everything they had into resigning him.

Now, I realize that none of you give a damn about whether the Wild manage to hang onto their most consistent and consistently entertaining scorer, and I further realize that the majority of you are realistic enough to know that, if Minnesota doesn’t have the cash to resign Rolston, there’s no way that the Sabres can possibly cough up enough to satisfy him. But here’s why I bring it up: in the course of ruminating on what Wild GM Doug Risebrough will do to fill out his roster once he’s officially lost Rolston, Pavol Demitra, Aaron Voros, Todd Fedoruk, Petteri Nummelin, and probably a few other ungrateful wretches I’m forgetting about, Russo mentions that Andrew Brunette is a free agent, likely to leave Colorado, and a guy Minnesota would be capable of making a serious run at without the need to drastically overpay in a weak free agent market.

All of which begs the question: why haven’t we been hearing more about Bruno in all the rumor-mongering columns the hockey media’s been generating lately? Am I reading the wrong sites? Is the East Coast sports bias so all-encompassing that the Toronto/New York axis has simply ceased to acknowledge the existence of players in US Mountain Time? Did Andrew Brunette once sleep with Ron McLean’s teenage daughter on a road trip, thus earning him a lifetime ban from all serious speculation on the Canadian nets? (This last one is unlikely, I admit, since a) I have no idea whether Ron has a daughter, and b) I’m pretty sure I saw Bruno on After Hours with Scott and Kelly last year.)

The likely explanation is that Bruno isn’t really considered a marquee player, even in a relatively quiet year for free agency, so he’s falling through the cracks. But seriously: why wouldn’t you want this guy on your team, exactly? He eats minutes for breakfast, he hasn’t missed a single regular season game since 2001 (and I’m pretty sure the one he missed that year was when Jacques Lemaire benched him for no good reason,) he lives to go to the net, he’s a crisp passer, he’s got boatloads of playoff experience, and unless something’s changed drastically since he left Minny, he’s a helluva guy to have around the locker room.

What I’m saying here, Buffalo, is that there’s absolutely no reason that y’all shouldn’t be cramming Darcy’s inbox with passionate missives begging – nay, demanding – that he get off his overly cautious butt come July 1 and tender Mr. Brunette a (reasonably) fat contract offer. After all, your boys lack direction, right? Leadership’s been a bit hard to come by this year? The team could use a steady veteran or two to right the ship and chip in 20-25 goals while he’s at it?

Tell me this isn’t your guy.

Hijacking The Caboose

Okay, people, here’s how it’s gonna be. I know you’re used to a certain level of gentle coddling and digressive fooferal around here, but things have changed, and quite frankly, CrotchetyOriginalSam doesn’t much truck with those concepts.

We do truck in full and complete explanations of current events, however, so one supposes that you’re all owed a summation of the happenings that led to this hostile takeover of TWC. Here’s what happened: a couple of nights ago, HRM Katebits retired to her regally appointed BatShack here in the rain-soaked hills of southern New Hampshire, there to view a few late-night episodes of Monk and generally decompress from another busy day spent considering the needs of her loyal Caboosian subjects. By all accounts, the decompression went well, and at a reasonable time of her choosing, HRM shut down her MacBook, tucked the various bats and centipedes that share her abode into their little miniature beds made of matchbooks and tissue paper, and lapsed into the fitful dozing that passes for sleep when your bed is a piece of plastic-covered foam slapped on top of a sheet of plywood.

Tuesday morning dawned foggy and grim, an ominous sign of the horrifying events to come. Katebits arose at her customary hour of noon(ish), and blearily made her way up the Path Of Mysterious Burrowing Creatures That Sam Will Not Investigate to the Apple Hill farmhouse, hauling her now energy-depleted MacBook with her. She plugged it into the one working electrical socket within a five-mile radius, and hit the power button, ready to spend a leisurely afternoon composing yet another brilliant missive for all you little Buffaslug fans and hangers-on.

Strangely, the MacBook failed to respond. Katebits hit the button again, and tried the enter key and a few random function buttons as well, for good measure. But the computer remained as unresponsive as RJ Umberger after a friendly blue-line encounter with Brian Campbell. HRM does not suffer insolence patiently, and she stabbed furiously at the power button, wailing and crying furiously into the New England fog as the damnable machine silently mocked her devotion to her TWC subjects.

Anyway, long story longer, the power problem proved to be quite dire, such that even a daylong trip by wagon train to the next queendom over (which, unlike the BatQueendom, has its own Mac store) yielded no solution. As a result, the offending MacBook has been imprisoned in HRM’s private dungeon somewhere on Pitcher Mountain, there to think long and hard about what it has done, and Katebits finds herself effectively cut off from you, her adoring throng.

Which is where I come in. My HP Pavilion’s working just fine, and while I may not possess a great deal of knowledge of (or interest in) the city of Buffalo and its environs, I do know hockey, I appreciate a good beef on weck, and I have been known to consume large quantities of chicken wings and cheap beer on occasion, which I have been told is more or less your town’s official pasttime. So we’re stuck with each other for the rest of the week, it seems. Those of you who know me from the comments know where I’m coming from, I think, and while I can’t promise that I won’t display a certain amount of Western Conference/Minnesota bias in the entries to come, I’ll make an effort to tamp down (slightly) my usual contempt for Devils fans, the Dallas Stars as a concept, and the defensively inept style of speed skating and puck flipping that you East Coast types call “hockey.” In exchange, I do not care to hear any derogatory comments about Jacques Lemaire, Steve Downey, or any Western teams that you may perceive as slow and/or boring for the duration of my stay. I think we understand each other?

I’ll have more actual hockey-related content for you over the next few days. For now, however, TWC wishes to officially welcome Barry Melrose back to the National Hockey League, and to ask whatever took him so damn long to jump back behind a bench. In tribute to the old greaser, please spend a few hours today rating some mullets, thinking fondly all the while of the joy you used to take while watching Barry’s coif bob and weave across your screen on NHL 2Night

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
I can be reached at: willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com

For All Your Facebook “Needs”


puck goggles
In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Willful Caboose uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey my criticism and inform the public of the Sabres' suckitude/badassitude (whatever the case may be). Photos on The Willful Caboose are used without permission, but do not interfere with said owner's profit. If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail me (willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will be more than happy willing to oblige. (Special thanks to The Pensblog for their help with this disclaimer.)