Archive for the 'Teppo Numminen' Category

Small Request

I spent a lot of time trying to write a post today.  I tried a funny one, I tried a serious one, I even tried an angry one.  But all of those posts felt forced and unfocused.   After trying to blog for awhile I realized that, basically, I feel really off-kilter about the Sabres.  Uneasy.  I don’t have a clear sense of what actually happened with Kennedy, nor am I able to use solid, grown-up logic to explain the deep sense of disappointment I feel towards Sabres management.

All I know is that after Darcy’s press conference I felt really, genuinely icky about the Sabres.

Maybe this is just one of those times when the business of sports is difficult to swallow as a fan, or maybe something much more gross and/or pathetic is going on with the Sabres, but honestly, I’m not sure I care.  The bottom line is this: I love the Sabres, but I don’t want to be losing faith in them in August. If I’m going to lose faith, I want it to be during the season, in person, while I’m paying perfectly good money to sit in my seats at the arena.

So, please do me a favor, Darcy.  I’m begging you.  No more press conferences until October.  I’m TRYING to suspend my disbelief over here, and you’re making it really difficult.

Let’s Blow This Baby Up

I’m kind of a drama queen when it comes to the Sabres (although oddly, I’m not a drama queen in any other area of my life), so I felt a little bit of vindication when I made my morning blog rounds today.  It seems I’m not the only person who thought that that was THE WORST HOCKEY GAME IN THE HISTORY OF TIME AND SPACE.  I mean, I’ve seen the Sabres suck plenty of times before, but that game last night was an abomination.  I’m not sure that either team successfully completed a pass all night.  I will forever remember that game as ten guys standing in the middle of the rink kicking the puck around randomly with their skates.  For all I know, they didn’t even USE hockey sticks last night.

But the details about last night are neither here nor there.  The main point is that the Sabres are not a good hockey team.  I’ll admit, I’ve lost ALL patience for waiting around for this particular group of guys to pull it together.  It’s not going to happen.  Drastic steps must be taken.

I’m not ordinarily the type of blogger to play the role of GM.  I don’t feel very confident with my hockey analysis, but this situation has inspired me to go out on a limb and write a serious post about what I would do if I were the GM of the Sabres.  In my opinion, this team needs a major shake-up.

Here are the moves I would make:

Tim Connolly should be retired and sent to a farm to live out his remaining years grazing peacefully.  It’s the most humane solution at this point.

Drew Stafford should be traded for Evgeni Malkin.

Derek Roy‘s talent should be surgically extracted and implanted into Paul Gaustad.  This is a dangerous scheme because there’s a risk that Goose could be infected with some of Roy-Z’s personality as well as his talent (that, of course, would be disastrous/tragic), but I’m sure we can all agree that a Goose/Roy-Z hybrid would be a useful player to have around.  I think it’s worth the risk.  After the talent transferring procedure, the now talentless Derek Roy can become Goose’s personal assistant.  Everyone wins….except Goose, who now has a talentless Derek Roy following him around all the time.

Ryan Miller needs his glass eye removed and replaced with a real eye.  He’s done pretty well with one glass eye, considering, but it’s clear that he needs two good eyes to compete in the NHL.  He might as well get his wonky eyebrow re-cocked while he’s at it.

Jason Pominville needs to be taken off the point on the power play.

Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman need to be sent out into the deep forest and each be given a match, a single bottle of water, and a penknife.  They have 48 hours to hunt and kill the other.  Whoever comes out alive gets to keep his job.

Thomas Vanek should be paid $7.1 million dollars per year for the next six years.

Clarke MacArthur should be traded to the Blackhawks for Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane.

Max Afinogenov and Ales Kotalik should be melted down and then recast as Christmas tree ornaments which the Sabres wives and girlfriends can then sell in the concourse to benefit charity.

Andrew Peters should be waived and Adam Mair should start actively practicing punching people and being punched in return.

Patrick Kaleta should be sent to Portland, and Danny Paille should start actively practicing being really, really annoying.

Nathan Paetsch should be traded for Nicklas Lidstrom.

Craig Rivet should be returned to the San Jose Sharks.  This is a mercy trade made of behalf of Rivet who is probably looking at his old team with extreme longing right about now.  This poor dude was living a perfectly happy life in California a few months ago, and now, through no fault of his own, he’s the CAPTAIN of this train wreck.  Poor dude.  I want to set him free.

Mark Mancari, Nathan Gerbe, and Tim Kennedy should all be given trial jobs with the Sabres, but they should be FORBIDDEN from socializing with any of their elder teammates.  Everyday after practice they should be chauffeured to their grim apartments at the Extended Stay America off the 290, and supervised for the remainer of the day.  If any of them even glances wistfully at Chippewa St, they should be automatically fired/executed.

Teppo Numminen should be compelled to retire so that he may begin some sort of job which involves him standing behind the bench with James Patrick looking foxy in a well tailored suit.

Jaroslav Spacek should call a press conference and then bite the head off the pigeon so that we never have to hear about that dumb thing again.  (This isn’t so much of a personnel move as it is a personal request from me to Jaro.)


So that’s what I would do if I were GM.

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.


Hi Teppo!



*jump jump jump*


The Right Decision, The Wrong Way?

I am very sad about the turn of events that have occurred for Teppo Numminen since yesterday. During his pre-season physical it was discovered that he needs heart surgery, and then, to top off a surely delightful day, he was suspended by the Sabres for “failing to report to camp in good physical condition.” I am sure that the decision to suspend Teppo was the best option for the Sabres from a business standpoint, but I still hate it. I find it impossible to believe that there couldn’t have been a more dignified and respectful response to Teppo’s situation. At the very least, the announcement of his suspension should have been handled with a lot more class. Truthfully, I am fully confused about the whole situation. There are all sorts of contractual issues going on here, and I certainly can’t claim to understand the full scope of the issue. Hopefully, it’s not as bad as it seems, and Teppo will be healthy and back on the ice soon.

On a personal note, I’m really depressed that when I read this article in The Buffalo News, my immediate response was to wonder how many layers of bullshit I had to remove before I got to the truth of the matter. I’m not a journalist and I have never studied journalism. I go back and forth on the issue of whether I should pay any attention to sports journalism. In the great scheme of things, sports are not important, not like, oh say, an unwinnable war or anything; but still, I think sports play a huge role in how the Buffalo community relates to itself. In Buffalo, our sports teams are probably the single most unifying (or divisive) issue we have. The Buffalo News just seems so heavy handed and intent on attacking the Sabres organization that I simply don’t trust them to provide accurate information. For all I know, The Buffalo News might be right about this one, but due to their hatchet job covering the captain’s departure, they no longer have any credibility with me.

So, what we have is a bad newspaper intent on skewering an organization with really bad P.R. skills, and the result is a gigantic pile of crap. In order to cover my bases and spread the frustration around, I will just say:

Eff you, Buffalo News. Eff you, Sabres management. I’m sick of all you guys. Pull your shit together.


But most importantly, get well, Teppo!

Teppo and Goose

(This post is a part of a series entitled “Kate’s Favorite Sabre Competition” in which I am choosing my 2007/08 favorite Sabre by process of elimination. Each and every Sabre is a hero, but in the end, there can be only one favorite.)


At this stage in the competition it is getting considerably harder to write funny posts about the remaining Sabres. I really like everyone left, and I don’t particularly want to make fun of them! The only avenue of escape I can see is self-deprecation. So let’s begin…….

Paul Gaustad #28

Dear Goose,

You and I could be so great together. You were born in Fargo, and I spent half of my childhood driving back and forth between the Twin Cities and Fargo to visit my Grandmother. You were raised in Portland, OR which is one of my very favorite places in the country. (I visit Portland at least once a year to see my best friend and my sister who both live there.) You love to read. Goose, I love to read too. In interviews you seem bright and articulate, and not just bright and articulate for an athlete, but bright and articulate for a human being! What fun we could have with the witty banter! I bet you know what a viola is, and I’m sure you’d enjoy watching Arrested Development. You’re tall. I’m tall. You’re affable and well liked, and I… likeable people.

There is one reason, and one reason only that you and I cannot be together:

You are far, far too good looking for me.

No, no, please don’t argue…..hush. You know it’s true, Goose.

If you were to become Kate’s Favorite Sabre, I would be accused of choosing you because of your dashing good looks. (Goose, you are far and away the best looking Sabre; this much is beyond discussion.) A relationship between a fan and a Favorite Sabre cannot exist on Reading PSAs and the Fargo-connection alone. There are also jerseys to consider. I just don’t think I can pull off a Gaustad jersey. I’m not sure that “Gaustad (I love him for all the right reasons, not just because he’s hot as hell.) 28” would fit on the back of a jersey, and even if it did, it would be cost prohibitive. No, the sad truth is, a Gaustad jersey at this stage might as well say, “Gaustad (I like him because he’s hot.) 28

This can be a very good year for us. You are healthy, and the team will ask much more of you this season. Hopefully your tendon will hold up, and you will get to play a lot more minutes as part of an established line. The terrible reign of the Lauded Drury Work Ethic is officially over, and this is an area where you can naturally step in as a leader. You are known as a hard worker and a physical player. Just for good measure, let’s see if you can’t get into a few good fights and messy up those pretty features.

In the meantime, I’ll increase my overall appeal by becoming a better hockey viewer. (Everyone knows that a woman’s sex appeal is directly related to her level of hockey knowledge. Duh.) I’ll do my best to learn all I can about hockey. I’ll keep a watchful eye on you so that I can learn the finer points of your game. I’ll work on my self confidence as a fan, so that next year, if while I’m wearing a Gaustad jersey someone says to me, “You just like him because he’s hot”, I can reply with righteous indignation, “No, I like him because of his high levels of BADASSERY…….the hotness is just a bonus.”

Honking For You,


Teppo Numminen #27

I refuse to cut Teppo Numminen.

Teppo transcends this competition in every way.

I’m not cutting Teppo. I’m just leaving this picture for you to enjoy.



Before I sign off on this, the second to last stage of Kate’s Favorite Sabre Competition, I would just like to say how much I have enjoyed writing these little Sabre profiles. I know it’s been silly in here, but I feel like I have a much better handle on the team heading into the season. Oh sure, my profiles are utter inanity, but so is the off-season. The hockey off-season is crazy-making. It’s not my fault.

Don’t forget, I have no intention of sticking to my decision in this competition. This has been nothing but a juvenile, hollow exercise in futility……but please, stay tuned for the EXCITING CONCLUSION!

Teppo Numminen, Super Hottie

I received a very exciting (and totally offensive) shout-out from Kevin over at BfloBlog today! It seems that after only two days of existence, The Willful Caboose is poised to take over the Buffalo sports blogosphere. Kevin is understandably nervous, so I will forgive him for his suggestion that my brain is too small to write a hockey blog. (Listen Kevin, it sounds to me as if you are suffering from a little anxiety about your own brain. Brains come in all different shapes and sizes, and no matter what, every brain has something to offer, even the little ones. I think you will find that blogging is much more enjoyable if you just relax and stop worrying about the size of your brain.)

Now, when I decided to start a hockey blog, I had two thoughts:
1. I don’t know anything about hockey.
2. Any hockey blog I write will inevitably turn into an in-depth analysis of the hotness of each Sabre.

That being said, I honestly did not expect that in my third post I would be forced to cast aside the illusion that I can pull off a semi-respectable blog. I had intended for TWC to chronicle my first year as a hockey fan, but I can feel myself veering off course already. You see, in Kevin’s post, and the ensuing comments, the issue of Teppo Numminen’s hotness was raised. It seems that the average male Buffalo sports fan does not think that Teppo is hot. Obviously, The Willful Caboose is more desperately needed than I had originally thought. I cannot allow one more day to pass while Teppo is denied his due respect as a Super Hottie.

Teppo Numminen is hot. He’s hot because he is beloved in a room full of guys 15 years his junior. He’s hot because although I’m sure he doesn’t smoke, he seems like the kind of guy who carries a cigarette lighter, just in case I smoke. (Which I do not, but I appreciate the effort, Teppo. Thank you very much.) Teppo’s sense of humor is well documented. He exudes calm and dignity, and at the same time he’s got a delightful hint of sleaziness. I feel confident that if I ever met Teppo on the street, he would pose agreeably for a cell phone photo, and not just a normal shot, but one of those group self-portraits where we put our heads together and he holds the phone out with his long arm to take the picture.

After the terrible free agency, when we had lost our co-captains and the city was adrift in a sea of angst and rage, I for one, was incredibly relieved to hear that Teppo would be returning to Buffalo. I think it speaks volumes that in the immediate aftermath of the co-captain debacle, Sabres management prioritized inking Teppo to a one year deal. Teppo is hot because we need him to be hot. This year, more than any other year, we will turn to Teppo for leadership. No matter who winds up wearing the “C”, Teppo is the undisputed Papa Sabre…..and that’s hot.

And if all that doesn’t convince you, watch this video of a devastated Teppo reacting to a loss in the Olympic finals. The interview is in Finnish, but Teppo’s disappointment and passion transcend mere obstacles such as language.

Boys, almost crying, but not crying is hot. Write that down.

All joking aside, thanks for your support, Kevin! I just want to be the best “new to hockey, girly blogger” I can be!

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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

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