A memorable All Star weekend, at last

To say I was really into the All Star Game when I was a kid is an understatement. Dominik Hasek had established himself as a bonafide superstar and other things like glowing pucks typically catch the eyes of ten year olds more than, say, adults.

My interest in the event, like most fans, has waned in recent years. As the event itself stagnated there were few things that brought any sort of genuine interest on a yearly basis. This year’s event, however, really brought back an entertaining showcase of the game’s stars in a format that I’m hoping sticks around for years to come. Continue reading

Sabres Pipe Dream: Renovating the 100 Level

At a previous Sabres Blogging Summit Ted Black made mention of the organization preparing to undertake the renovation of the 100 Level of First Niagara Center. Nearly two seasons have passed since he first touched on the possibility and it’s quite possible that the team has put those plans on the back burner.

Exactly what would be on the to-do list is up for debate as there would be some physical challenges posed by the construction of FNC along with whatever budgetary restraints the organization chose to attach to the plan.

More history and (maybe) more space would be key additions for The Aud Club.

As the official pipe dream author of the Basement Brigade I thought I’d toss out my wishlist of what I’d hope to see incorporated into a renovated 100 Level if and when the Sabres finally undertake the project.
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Sabres’ Murray Could use Cap to his Advantage

There will deservedly be a lot of coverage over the course of the next six weeks involving all sorts of trade rumors and possibilities as general managers work the phones in an effort to either position their team for a playoff run or plan for the future. All of that coverage is obviously merited, but there is a story getting a bit less air time that will play a major role in deciding who goes where in February and July: the salary cap.

The salary cap for the 2016-17 season has yet to be set, and the Canadian dollar’s dropping value has many around the league concerned; the Loonie is currently below 70 cents on the dollar for the first time in over ten years. This is bad news for a league with seven Canadian franchises that account for roughly 30 to 35 percent of hockey related revenue, according to The Globe and Mail. According to Steven Burtch of SportsNet, if the Canadian dollar remained at around 69 cents the salary cap would drop around $3.9 million next year, and that includes the escalator. Continue reading

Sabres Pipe Dream: A New Web Series

Given the on-ice struggles of the Sabres, the Beyond Blue and Gold series may just be the best thing to come out of First Niagara Center in the past few years. The web series has done a brilliant job in highlighting the players away from the rink while also showcasing the phenomenal video production team the Sabres and Pegula Sports boasts.

Can I touch your face? Just for a second.
Can I touch your face? Just for a second.

The lone complaint I’ve ever had about the show is how short the episodes are. I’m typically left wanting more out of each episode and while I appreciate and understand the shooting schedule and production that goes into each episode, I still feel like I want each episode to run a little longer. With that in mind, I started thinking about how the team could expand their web video offerings and came up with an idea for a new web series the team could run.

What I eventually cooked up via text with fellow 2ITB contributor Tyler Roeder was an idea for a studio show that focuses solely on analysis of the team. Unlike Beyond Blue and Gold, this show wouldn’t be feature based but almost like an expanded version of the postgame show with video breakdown, opponent previews and the like. No call ins, a weekly web series going through what the Sabres have been up to on the ice. Continue reading

Take My Money: Mini Sabres Jerseys

In a Buffalo News article from last fall, Kim Pegula was quoted as saying the hope for PSE, the Sabres and the Bills isn’t to follow the lead of other teams in each respective league, but to blaze their own trail. This is a great stance to take, particularly for the Sabres who have often been guinea pigs for NHL projects. Why be a follower time and time again when you can be the gold standard across the league?

However, I’ve come to notice other NHL clubs engaging in various practices and promotions which I would love to see the Sabres take on. What caught my eye most recently is a mini-pack ticket promotion the Anaheim Ducks are running that comes complete with a mini third jersey from throughout the organization’s history. I can say definitively that if the Sabres offered a line of mini jerseys they’d have full license to take as many of my hard earned American dollars as they pleased. I don’t care if it’s a blatant rip-off of the Ducks current promotion, these would kill in Buffalo. Untitled

In other words.

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Instigator Podcast Episode 46 – Targeting Trades

There’s still time before Tim Murray really starts talking trade but not too early to discuss what steps the Sabres should take moving forward. Chris and Tyler discuss whether Murray should be looking at options at forward or along the blueline.