Yearbook Photos: A Retrospective

The Journey Begins:

I think we can all agree that there is something terribly wrong with the Sabres.

The problem is, no one is quite sure what is wrong with the Sabres.   Is it the top six?  Is it the defense?  Is it Lindy?  Are they just not that good?  Were they all concussed over the summer in some kind of unreported team bus crash?  Are they coach killing?  Is Tyler Myers high?  Were Toni Lydman and Hank Tallinder the straws that stirred the drink (no way)?  Is Craig Rivet a robot?  Are they afraid of being booed, and THAT’S why they can’t win at home?  Have Thomas Vanek’s low self-esteem issues given him an eating disorder?  Will I ever bother to learn how to spell Neidermayerierniderer or Mmoorriissoonn?

WHY are they so bad?  WHY?

We go around and round.

All I know is I need to step back from this surface-y examination of the first ten games of the new season.  I need to dig in deeper.  I need to look at the history of each member of “the core”.  I need to understand how we got here, so that at the very least, we might have some hope of saving the younger players.  I need to do what I’ve always done when the Sabres are leaving me feeling lost and confused.

I need to look at their roster photos.

As longtime readers of this blog know, I believe strongly that many secrets of a team can be revealed by careful examination of their roster photos.  The situation in Buffalo is complex, and there are no easy answers, so in order to get to the bottom of what ails the Sabres, I believe we have to acknowledge the personal journey of each individual player.

Today is the first post in what will hopefully be a series of posts.  We cannot afford to pretend that there isn’t a problem in “the system”.  Something is going terribly wrong with these players, and it is our obligation to find it, and fix it so that so future Sabres do not have to suffer.  The process is bound to be painful, but it is our duty as Sabres fans to see this through.

Today we investigate Derek Roy and Drew Stafford.

Lets begin.

Derek Roy








There is so much lost innocence and turmoil evident in Roy-Z’s early roster photos.  Heartbreaking.  He was clearly at a crossroads in 2005, and sadly, he took the path which lead to the Roy-Z we know and (kind of) love today.  To my great shock, in 2005 Derek Roy was Montador-esque in appearance.  Plain, nearly disheveled, in 2005 Roy-Z was a young man on his way to the top.  But then, in 2006, came the haircut that would rock the Buffalo hockey world.  Granted, 2006/07 was a good season for the team and for Roy-Z himself, but he was skating on borrowed time.  Let this be a lesson to the young people who read this blog: One ill-advised haircut can ruin your life.  By 2007 Derek Roy’s fate was sealed.  By the fall of ’07, Roy-Z had sunk so low that he clearly believed a carefully constructed fauxhawk could replace the leadership of Chris Drury and Daniel Briere.  As we all know now, Roy-Z was wrong about his fauxhawk.  He was so dreadfully wrong.












Unable to recover from the fauxhawk, the roster photos show that Roy-Z descended deeper and deeper into skeeviness.  While Roy-Z can continue to play hockey at high levels, there is no known cure for his increasingly greasy hair.

Analysis:  Based on Roy-Z’s roster photos, we can deduce that he was not given the guidance he so desperately needed at the start of his young career.  As a result of being overlooked by authority figures, Roy-Z was susceptible to all manner of peer-pressure, the worst of which resulted in a devastating fauxhawk.  To prevent this type of calamity in the future, young Sabres should not be allowed to own or use hair products.  Also, for the good of the innocent rookies, further research must be done to determine if the greasy fauxhawk is contagious.

Drew Stafford

















It does not take a genius to see what happened to Staffy.  At some point in his childhood, he was bitten by a zombie.  By 2007 his zombie-ism was full blown, and his skin was astonishingly pale.  In 2008 in a sad effort to hide his zombie-ism Staffy attempted to smile in his roster photo, but the results were…disturbing.  By 2009, Staffy’s obvious undeadness could no longer be denied.  Thankfully, in 2010, with the help of zombie experts, Staffy’s condition is being controlled, and there is reason to believe he can one day be a useful member of society the Sabres again. *fingers crossed*

Analysis: In the future, the Sabres should consider asking all potential draftees “Are you a zombie?”  If the answer is “yes,” the Sabres should think long and hard before drafting this player.  On paper, zombies seem like they should be good at hockey, but in reality this is not always the case.


Stay tuned for future installments of this vitally important study.  We here at the Willful Caboose Research Labs promise that we will not give up until every Sabres is cured, and the team returns to respectability.

12 Responses to “Yearbook Photos: A Retrospective”

  1. 1 patty October 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    You have no idea how badly I needed a laugh tonight and you certainly delivered. Sure looked like the whole team were Zombies last night….do you think he is infecting others???
    I look forward to future analysis.

  2. 2 Kathleen October 27, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!! This may be your finest project yet!

    I think the zombie experts rely heavily on the use of sedatives. Staffy looks far too mellow and – dare I say, pleasant?! – in this year’s photo. But you’re all wrong about Roy-Z. Closer scrutiny will prove he was a greaseball from the very start. The Roy-Z we ended up with was the only Roy-Z nature was willing to produce. Unfortunately.

    As for Mylers, he needs to stop worrying that he’s going to knock up his girlfriend and embrace the world of reliable contraception like a big boy. (Okay, that’s only one theory.)

  3. 3 lifeinspoons October 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    This made my day. Now I actually have something to look forward to: the next installment.

  4. 4 Amy October 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I can’t wait for the next installment, Kate!

    Stafford appears to be half asleep in this year’s photo. But I suppose half asleep is a step up from undead.

  5. 5 Katebits October 27, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Haha! Thanks, ladies! Kathleen, I agree, Staffy does look sedated, but I have to disagree that Roy-Z was doomed from the start. Look at his transformation! He freaking OOZES, now. He may have always been somewhat skeevy, but something went horribly wrong in 2006-ish.

  6. 6 mcguffers October 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Staffy’s ’09-’10 picture still has me giggling. Where was the photographer standing this year? In the 300’s? Was he trying to get full body shots? He might want to try a zoom lense next year.

  7. 7 Mark B October 28, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Holy cow, the Staffy pictures had me rolling here.

    And to think that I bought his jersey after Drury left. No one told me he was one of the undead! But then again, I do enjoy horror movies.

  8. 8 kitten October 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Just to make sure you get the yin and the yang of the team, you should also examine how they tape their sticks. I think whether they wind to the right or left, overlap by a quarter or a half inch says a lot about a player’s mental state. :-)

    Can’t wait for the next installment.

  9. 9 Mike in Idaho October 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I loved this and look forward to the next installment. As to Tallinder’s leaving, judging by his play with the Devils you should be glad he’s gone or else the Sabres might have an even worse record, you know like say the Devils.

  10. 10 Grrrreg October 29, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Ahahahahahaha that was awesome. I think that’s the BEST way to figure out what’s going on with your team! That’s a fascinating project, and as everyone else, I’m already waiting for the next episode.

  11. 11 Michael Fisher Portnoy III October 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm


    Not to be nit-picky, but i think your pick is from American Werewolf In London.

  12. 12 Ashley Shearon March 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    i digg your posts! i additionally shared all of them on a number of my social networks

Leave a Reply to Katebits Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

…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.)


%d bloggers like this: