Archive for the 'Free Agency' Category

The Sabres Are Dumb

The Sabres trumpeted this information on their website and on Twitter:

Picture 22

All aboard the Lunch Express!  Next stop, tenth place!

I’d post a link, but the tweet has been deleted (good thing I took a screen shot!) and the information on the website has been changed. Apparently the segment will NOT be live, but taped in the morning, before free agency begins.


If I weren’t crying about the fact that our GM is wasting ANY time on July 1st with this nonsense, I’d be giggling about the fact that someone (probably SEVERAL people) at the Sabres organization thought this was a good plan.

Here’s how I’m pretty sure that went down:

Random PR dude: Hey, I know what Sabres fans want most on July 1st!

Hecht: For me to get traded?

Random PR dude: No!  They want the opportunity to ask Darcy Regier a softball question!

Hecht: Are…you sure about that?

Random PR dude: Of COURSE!  The Fans LOVE listening to Darcy drone on and on about his justification for doing nothing!  They LOVE it!  And do you know what else do fans love?

Hecht: ….?

Random PR dude: No, seriously. Take a guess.  What do fans love more than Darcy Regier?  Come on.  One guess.


Random PR dude: Exactly!  And trains!  Lunch, trains, and Darcy Regier!  It CAN’T FAIL!

Hecht: But shouldn’t Darcy be working, or at the very least be pretending to work tomorrow?  It’s the opening of free agency.  I think fans want to see change.  Won’t a “live” interview be sending the wrong message to the fans?

Random PR dude: Nah.  But what do you think Darcy?

Darcy Regier: Working?  On free agency day?  I’d be BURNED AT THE STAKE!  No!  The people want to ask me stuff!

Random PR dude: See!  It’s what the people want!  Trust me.  I know these things.  The Lunch Express is a big hit.  Next week we’re going to have an interview with Tom Golisano, but we’re not going to ask him any questions.  It’s just going to be ten minutes of him in Florida, sitting on a pile of cash, and making out with Monica Seles.  The Sabres fans are going to go NUTS for it!  WOOOO!

(long silence)

Hecht: I’d like a trade.

Darcy Regier: Well, too bad!  You’re untradeable!  WOOOOOOO!

Then, Darcy and the PR Department turn off all the phones, fax machines, and computers so the racket of other team’s GMs calling won’t interfere with the taping of the Lunch Express. Then they high five and start a conga line.

(I feel a little bad about this post.  I’m not sure that it’s cool to make fun of the Sabres PR people.  I think that athletes, coaches and GMs are fair game for bloggy meanness, but I’m less sure about the people working in the office.  Sorry, Sabres PR people! I couldn’t resist!)

(Now that I really think about it, this might be all Kevin Sylvester’s fault.)

(Blaming Kevin Sylvester for everything is fair, funny, and most likely totally accurate.)


Time To Trade all the Sabres!

Hooray!  The hockey season is FINALLY over, and now we can get down to the delightful task of trading away all of the old sucky Sabres, for NEW sucky Sabres!  WOO!

I read something interesting on Kukla’s Korner today.  John Madden is going to test the market on July 1st.

I want him!

john_madden footballEw, gross!  Not him!…..


…..HIM!  (disclaimer: he’s only slightly less gross than the football John Madden)

Before you get all uppity and, “He’s old! He’s never been that productive!  He’s on the decline!” I say to you, “I know, but gather ’round and listen to me.”

Seven reasons the Sabres should sign John Madden:

1. Have you EVER seen a Sabre look like John Madden looks in that picture?  No.  No, you have not.  Because most of our  players are little wusses.  I like how beat-up John Madden is willing to get, and I like how he’s got a respectable playoff beard- like a man.

2. The Sabres are in desperate need of a leader, and John Madden seems like one of those “I REALLY WANT TO LEAD” eager-beaver types, like Briere was, only with credibility and a cranky disposition.

3. John Madden has won two Cups.  Two.  And a Selke.  I used to poo-poo the idea that Cup experience is all that valuable, but then I watched two seasons of a team with zero Cup winners, coached by a guy with zero Cup wins and I changed my mind.  The Sabres really need SOMEONE around who knows what it takes to win it all.

4. Here’s what Pookie said when I emailed her about him:

I think his leadership could be really good for a team like the Sabres.  He’s a hard-ass and I suspect he has absolutely no qualms about telling younger players to shape up.  I think he’d love to see himself as a Scott Stevens for a rudderless group.

We HAVE a rudderless group here in Buffalo!

5. Here’s the OTHER thing Pookie said:

You know what his biggest strength to you guys would be?  Coach killing.  He’s been a key player on a lot of classic coach killing teams!

Now, I know that most of you don’t want Lindy to be fired, but I feel strongly about this one.  If Lindy comes back next year, and the Sabres are good, and they all start listening to him again, GREAT!  Lindy’s an awesome dude, and super fun to have around, and it would ROCK if the Sabres stopped sucking.  BUT.  If Lindy comes back, and the Sabres still seem disorganized, disinterested, and all around sucky, SOMEONE needs to be fired, and that someone is usually the coach.  One of the things I HATED about last season was that the players seemed to be coach killing, BUT THEY COULDN’T EVEN DO THAT RIGHT.  If coach killing is what we need, John Madden’s got the experience to get it done.

Hopefully we won’t need a coach killer next season, but if I have to watch another season of Derek Roy TRYING to kill Lindy and FAILING, I swear to LINDY RUFF I will lose my effing mind.

5. His nickname is Maddog.  The only dog nickname the Sabres currently have is “Pommerdoodle.”

6. According to the Ookies, John Madden is totally humorless and his interviews are all-dour-all-the-time.  Perfect.  Hopefully he’s like that in practices, and on the team plane, and on the bench, and in the workout room, and in hotel rooms, and EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY.  The Sabres could really use a dour asshole around.  They certainly responded to Chris Drury, didn’t they?

7. I really believe the Sabres HAVE to pick up a grizzled vet, and we could do a WHOLE lot worse than John Madden.  (See: Guerin, Bill)

(Thank you to the Ookies, fabulous Devils fans, who obviously greatly influenced this post.  By “influenced” I pretty much mean “told me all of this stuff, exactly”.)


I….did not see this Timmy deal coming.  That seems like WAY too much money for Timmy.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great deal if there was even a REMOTE chance of Timmy being healthy for an entire season, but, this is TIM CONNOLLY we’re talking about.  If he plays out the rest of THIS season without injury I’ll eat my car.  So, I guess I’m not super wild about this deal.

I’m cool with this goalie situation though.  My problem with Bucky “Biron to the Sabres” Gleason’s scheme is that it would have required giving up Hank Tallinder to get Marty Biron.  I think we can get something better and more useful for Hank, but I do think it’s good that we have a bit more depth in goal now.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for more moves before the deadline.  I want playoffs.

UPDATE: Dude.  Dominic Moore!   I have to go to the dentist!  I don’t want to go to the dentist!


labradoodle C

Aw.  Good boy, Pommerdoodle.

I don’t have much time to write right now, but DUDE, what a nice summer it has been as a Sabres fan.  I can’t believe we’re entering the season with all the major players signed and no gigantic question marks on the horizon.  It’s a whole new (happy) world.

Now it’s time to see what they can do.

Teppo’s Back, and He’s Better Than Ever.

Have you ever had a SUPER refreshing glass of water when you didn’t even realize you were all that thirsty? You take that sip, and it leads to a guzzle, and you can feel the water entering your system and it’s just the most delicious, satisfying thing ever? That’s how I felt when I heard Teppo got signed. I miss hockey. I am absolutely parched. Considering it’s August 8th, I’m not sure I could have received a more refreshing bit of hockey news today.


He’s a tall drink of water, alright.

Last year was my first full year as a Sabres fan, so except for the ’07 playoffs I haven’t really seen Teppo in action, but here’s the third post I ever wrote for The Willful Caboose. I’m a Teppo fan. The Sabres often seemed too young and too skittish last year, and say what you want about him, but Teppo is neither of those things.


Thank You, Crunchy.

My Sabres fandom sprouted up during a time when I was struggling to settle into Buffalo. Sure, I had been living in Buffalo for almost six years at the time, but I hadn’t settled down here. Not really. Falling in love with the Sabres helped me take a closer look at Buffalo and all of the wonderful people who live here, and in a very literal way, the Sabres turned Buffalo into my home. At this point, my love for Buffalo encompasses far more than just hockey, but I will always view the Sabres through this sociological lens.

When the entirety of the North American hockey media, including our own local paper, was constantly beating the “no one wants to play in Buffalo” drum all season, well, it effected me on more levels than just hockey analysis. It’s almost difficult to admit how much that…hurt my feelings. I can’t separate my love for the Sabres from my love for Buffalo, and as a result, that type of broad criticism of the team feels almost personal. I know that thinking this way is totally irrational, I do, but at the risk of being way off the mark, I don’t think I’m the only person in town who feels this way. I think the prevailing notion that no player would WANT to live and play here has been hard on us. I know it’s been hard on me.

I feel so much better about that now.

It’s not fair to expect our athletes to embrace or embody Buffalo, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it when Ryan Miller does it willingly. Don’t get me wrong, I know this is a nice payday for Crunchy, but I don’t think there is any way around the fact that his new contract is a strong statement that all along he wanted to stay here and be a Sabre.

It means so much to me to hear Ryan Miller saying good things about Buffalo. The fact that he likes it here, and that he appreciates how the community embraces the team, well, that means a lot to me. Ryan MIller believes in the current direction of the Buffalo Sabres. That means a lot to me. For the first time in over a year, I feel some real distance from the co-captains debacle. That means a lot to me. I trust Ryan Miller to represent the Sabres well, both on the ice and in the community, and that means a lot to me.

There will be plenty of opportunity to weigh and judge this signing. Soon we will get to analyze, and carry on, and dissect every aspect of the new season, but for today, on July 18th, I’m going to go ahead and simply enjoy Crunchy’s new contract. I don’t give a rip about his cap hit. I really don’t. I’m just glad he’s ours. He’s one of us.


Ryan Miller, our beloved Crunchy, will be a Sabre for the next FIVE YEARS.

I have many thoughts and feelings about this (not the least of which is PLEASE GOD LET THIS BE THE FAMOUS 5/25 DEAL!), but for now we will simply celebrate.


Crunchy Ice Cream

Our fearless leader. Yay!

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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

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