Deadline Day, 2012.

Well, the dust has settled on Trade deadline Day 2012, and it’s left us all stunned, giddy, freaked out, and not a little bit sad (*mournful honk*).

My plan going into today was this: I intended to throw Darcy under the bus and never look back if he failed to trade either Derek Roy or Drew Stafford off the team. Then, I intended to rock the bus back and forth over him until he was just a Darcy-shaped pile of dust (I assume Darcy explodes into dust like the vampires on Buffy the Vampire Slayer when killed).

In typical Darcy fashion he failed to meet my minimum expectations while simultaneously pulling an attractive rabbit out of his hat that I had never even thought to demand. He’s a wily one, our Darcy Regier. I’d call him a master of misdirection, but this wasn’t even that. I’m not distracted from Derek Roy. No, I don’t even care about old Roy-Z anymore (for now). I’m like, “Shut up about Roy-Z, Darcy. I’m trying to watch Cody Hodgson highlights on Youtube over here.”

Let’s try to iron this all out, shall we? Here are the dudes involved:

Acquired: This is Cody Hodgson. He's a Sabre now. He's now our 3rd highest scorer. Most importantly, he's a CENTER which is making everyone weak in the knees.

Acquired: This is Alexander Sulzer, somehow already Photoshopped into a Sabres uniform. He's a Sabre now, also a handsome ginger. He's the ginger-iest Sabre since Brian Campbell!

Traded: Zack Kassian is now a Vancouver Canuck. This is sad for a number of reasons, not the least of which he's one of those professional athletes that looks more like a plumber than a professional athlete, and I like those guys.

Traded: Marc-Andre Gragnani and his incredibly hard-to-spell name are now Vancouver Canucks.

This is the big, bonkers deal has everyone’s heads spinning (including a LOT of heads in Vancouver). Personally, I’m not sure what to say about this other than… whoa. Darcy traded his gigantic maybe-he’ll-turn-into-Lucic No. 1 prospect, and in return he got a young NHL-ready center. This move was risky for both teams, and I suspect we’re going to spend a lot of time over the next few years comparing the fortunes of Hodgson and Kassian. Only time (possibly lots of time) will reveal the true winner of this one, but right now the consensus seems to be the Sabres got the best player in the deal.*high five, Darcy*

The overlooked wildcard here is Gragnani, who has struggled in Buffalo but has a lot of potential. I have no idea what’s up with Sulzer (is he even going to play for the Sabres? Or is he a straight-to-the-Amerks kind of guy?), but he’s handsome enough, so whatever. I’ll take him. (If you need a place to stay when you get here, you can stay in my guest room, Sulzie. As usual, the house rules for Sabres are: 1. No skanks 2. No loud music without headphones unless it involves the viola.)

On the surface, this trade gets a thumbs up. If nothing else, this move is fun just because it happened. With this trade, Darcy has busted out of his “I value my prospects too highly” rut in a big, big way. This is the kind of exciting, dramatic, high-risk move that Darcy-from-two-seasons-ago just wouldn’t have made. This kind of thing is fun, and it’s a treat to have the Sabres involved.

Okay, moving on, with an incredibly deep sigh, and true pain in my heart…

Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. Paul Gaustad *sob* is now a Nashville Predator.

This one is tough.

I think there are times in everyone’s fandom when logic goes out the window and you revert to a more childlike, innocent mentality. This is one of those times for me. I’m an unabashed Paul Gaustad fan, and while the return in the trade was certainly favorable, I’m just plain old sad about losing Goose.

Goose was my first favorite Sabre.  When I became a hockey fan 5 years ago, part of the appeal of the sport was cheering for these mysterious characters on the ice, and for me, at the heart of that appeal was Paul Gaustad. I just like the guy, and I always have. I think it’s important to have players like this- favorites- players you care about more than you care about the others. Having favorite players makes watching a team more special, more heartbreaking, and more moving.

I don’t write about it much anymore, but before I became a fan of the Sabres, I didn’t like living in Buffalo. I felt weird and out of place here. I’ve never been able to describe it eloquently, but when I became a Sabres fan, I became a Buffalonian, and my entire life took a turn for the happier. Whenever I think of Goose’s time in Buffalo, I’m going to remember what it was like to fall in love with the Buffalo Sabres, and in turn what it was like to fall in love with this city and finally make Buffalo my home. In that way, Goose cemented himself as an all-time favorite for me.

I’ll always appreciate how he conducted himself as a Sabre and a Buffalonian and I wish Paul nothing but the best in Nashville. We will miss him dearly.


17 Responses to “Deadline Day, 2012.”

  1. 1 SueInVA February 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Vanek is my favorite, Gaustad was a close second. I’m sad tonight but I do wish him well.

  2. 2 donmanski February 27, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I’ll say I liked the Gaustad of a few years ago better than the current one. Not sure when it happened or if I just perceive it to have happened but I just kind of became apathetic toward him. I used to think he was captain material, with his drive and work ethic but something definitely changed. I wish him luck, when he comes to the FNC I won’t boo him like I will when Roy-Z finally shows up in someone else’s sweater.

  3. 3 AC February 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I always liked Gaustad. This season, he was the one player who (from a purely emotional standpoint) I would’ve been (and am) bummed to see get traded. Roy, Stafford, etc, I wouldn’t have cared. From a hockey standpoint, I knew that other than Vanek and Pominville, anyone on this team could go. I usually try to see the practical side of trades, but I really am going to miss seeing Gaustad in blue and gold. It was the same way back in 07 when they traded Marty Biron. I knew it had to happen, that it was going to happen, and yet part of me was saying “why does this trade have to happen?” None of the moves they’ve made over the past few years other than Biron and Gaustad have really phased me too much (trade deadline moves, I mean. Watching both Briere and Drury walk on 7/1/2007 was pretty tough). Even though neither Biron nor Gaustad were, are, or ever will be superstars, they were fun players to watch. Even now, even though I hate the Rangers, when they start Biron, a tiny part of me hopes they win (after all, the Sabres aren’t catching up to the Rangers this season anyway), because he was one of my favorites when he was still a Sabre.
    That said, as much as I want to hate Reiger (who I’ve never really liked anyway), I’ll save my judgement on him this deadline once I’ve seen what Hodgson and Sulzer do for us.

  4. 4 Mikey B February 28, 2012 at 9:31 am

    You know, Katebits…Goose is still a UFA. Maybe the Sabres re-sign him on July 1st! (Longshot hope is the best hope of all!)

    • 5 AC February 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      I was thinking about that. It’s not likely, but you never know. Stranger things have happened.

      • 6 Olivia February 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

        I heard from a very reliable source that Goose WILL be back. He said he loves Buffalo & being a Sabre. And apparently his gf wasn’t too thrilled either so if he wants to keep her, he will probably have to come back.

        • 7 sar April 15, 2012 at 10:43 pm

          Oh I miss Goose so much! Did him & his gf get back together? I had heard from a friend who is dating a player that they had broke up awhile ago?? As long as he’s happy & get back to Buffalo!!

    • 8 Katebits February 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      It’s definitely true! Here’s hoping!

  5. 9 sallypants February 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Sorry, Katebits! Goose was my favorite Sabre. Fly home, little buddy! HONK!

  6. 11 BfloBlog (@BfloBlog) February 28, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Kate, there was a time way back in 1981 when the Sabres traded my favorite player, Danny Gare, to Detroit (and they traded Jim Schoenfeld to boot). I was almost 12-years-old and I actually cried.

    They got some a-hole named Mike Foligno, who I ended up loving way more than Danny Gare.

    So, you never know.

    • 12 Katebits February 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      Hm. It’s true. I should give this 1st round draft pick a chance to become my new favorite player. Like you said, you never know.

      OR, maybe in 30 years Gaustand will follow in Gare’s footsteps and come back to completely ruin the Sabres broadcasts. :P

  7. 13 Mike in Idaho February 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Hey Buffalonians, I have an off-topic question for you. Where the hell are Ric and Harry on TV, it seems like they have done about two games in the past 2 months.

    • 14 Matt February 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      Mike, they are quietly trying to slide into retirement. I heard somewhere (can’t remember where) that the only reason they signed on this year was because the Sabres didn’t really have another broadcast team ready. I think that’s pretty plausible, mainly with respect to Kevin Sylvester. At the beginning of the season his play-by-play was poor, but now I actually think he’s gotten pretty good. With the new broadcast team working out, I expect they’ll make it official at the end of the season.

      On a side note, I wonder how the Sabres will commemorate that eventuality. It’s not like they can name a press box after Rick…

      • 15 Katebits February 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm

        I think it’s the opposite, actually. They’re staving off retirement by working less. I’m really hoping that they start fresh with the broadcast crew when RJ retires for good. I think Sylvester and Gare are awful. (Particularly Gare.) If they want to hand over the keys to Brian Duff that would be okay too. The Sabres sent out a big survey about the broadcast crew a few weeks ago. I wonder what kind of feedback they got. I’ll be truly despondent if they wind up keeping this crew.

        • 16 Matt February 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm

          I agree that Gare is just bad. This season Sly has grown on me to the point where I’d prefer him over Brian Duff.

          The one thing I know for sure is that Rob Ray is still the man. =)

          • 17 Mike in Idaho March 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm

            That’s too bad about the retirement, I’m even more glad now that I got to meet RJ and Harry at one of the Road Crew events last season (yes I’m bragging). I think Rob Ray is great, Sylvester is OK but better than RJ’s son and Gare is just bad, I wonder if he quit or was let go from Columbus. That’s cool that the Sabres are surveying their audience about the broadcasts though, too bad RJ and Harry can’t continue forever.

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