It was almost five years in the making, but the historically aligned canals at Canalside were finally opened last night marking another milestone in Buffalo’s waterfront development.
As was to be expected, the crowd at Canalside was massive and the numbers patronizing the new skating venue will likely continue to swell over the next few weeks. All told, this was a huge victory for Canalside, the Erie Canal Harbor Corporation and Buffalo as a whole. While one night doesn’t make for guaranteed long-term success, I hope that the ECHDC are spurred to get the next piece of development done well ahead of schedule.
The three parcels that sit on the South Aud Block are shovel ready with plans for Explore & More to take up the largest of the three parcels with a restaurant and information center to occupy the other two, respectively. An RFP was issued for designs last year and now ECHDC is seeking a developer for the site. They even have pretty pictures which may or may not have no bearing on what the chosen developer builds.
Proposals from developers are due by January 9 and the ECHDC RFP notes that first round interviews will be held on or around January 22. So as of now, we’re well over a month away from identifying the developer for this site. The good news is that Explore & More has always been operating on a 2016 transition to the Canalside site, something noted in the ECHDC RFP documents. Putting two and two together tells me that once a developer is chosen, it shouldn’t be long before we see concrete being poured and structural steel rising; so long as ECHDC learned their lesson with the canals. Read more…
Things are going well at One Seymour H Knox III Plaza these days. The Sabres have won 10 of their last 13 games and has done so with a mix of tremendous goaltending and scoring from their top line.
Tyler Ennis was just named the NHL’s first star of the week after picking up five points in three games while his linemates, Zemgus Girgensons and Matt Moulson have helped to combine for 14 goals and 18 assists during this stretch. Their scoring accounts for nearly 50% of the goals that have been scored over this 13-game streak. Further, Jhonas Enroth has been a brick wall, picking up nine of the ten wins and posting a .920 save percentage or better in eight of the contests (once in a losing effort).
So, Buffalo’s surge can be credited to a number of factors. A scalding hot top line and equally impressive goaltending are the two biggest contributing factors, while additional continuity throughout the roster has likely helped to galvanize the lines and defensive pairings compared to the first month of the season. The sparing use of Brian Flynn and one-month absence of Nikita Zadorov clearly had a negative impact on the club compared to the team’s state with them as nightly fixtures.
One other factor that has likely helped to contribute to Buffalo’s recent run of impressive play is that their opponents have almost exclusively played their backup goaltenders in each Buffalo victory. In fact, since November 15, when the streak began, the Sabres have faced six starters compared to seven backups. The Sabres are 3-3 in games against those starters and undefeated against backups. Read more…
Things went off the rails last year when the Buffalo Sabres unveiled their newest alternate uniform that has since become known as the Turd Jersey (or #TurdJersey). It was the fourth alternate sweater designed by the Sabres and is by far the worst alternate jersey ever to grace an NHL ice surface.
In honor of tonight’s Second Annual Black and Red Night, I thought I’d honor the other third jerseys worn by the Sabres in an unofficial, but definitive, ranking.
Third jerseys can be tricky. Sometimes teams opt for a futuristic look which often results in mixed opinions. The most recent trend in hockey has been to lean towards traditional or “throwback” designs when it comes to these uniforms. The Sabres have run the gamut in terms of their designs and my rankings are based on a number of factors.
An effective third jersey should serve as a true alternate to a team’s current uniforms. Above all else that is always my first point of evaluation on an alternate uniform. That is obviously a broad definition as the Sabres themselves have done a good job differentiating their home and away uniforms from their alternates, but they haven’t always had well executed jerseys. The key, for me, is something that offers a truly different look to the team’s normal set of uniforms while staying in line with the overarching brand standard. Ultimately determining how a certain jersey fits a team’s identity requires a handful of different evaluations, but the final determination still falls under one umbrella.
One feature I’ve grown to appreciate with any third jersey is the use of an alternate logo. Plastering the current crest on a drastically different uniform can often bring terrible results and introducing an alternate logo that aligns with the team’s #brand is not only a way to branch out from the traditional home and away uniforms, but many alternate logos and jerseys have been quickly adopted as home and away uniforms by teams around the league. Look no further than Los Angeles and Minnesota as great examples of this.
The final way I like to look at a jersey is simple looks. Does it pass the mirror test? That doesn’t mean a jersey can only have horizontal lines, neck ties and traditional design points; simply put, if the jersey has an attractive, flowing design, I’m probably going to like it quite a bit.
With all that taken into consideration, here is how I rank the third jerseys worn by the Sabres: Read more…
A great deal of time, money and interest is being invested into Main Street in an effort to reverse some of the planning errors of the last 30 years. The decision to return vehicle traffic to the street has already brought new business to many long-vacant storefronts and more is expected to come as the project progresses towards Canalside.
While securing the funding for the final portions of the project remains the biggest hurdle for the city, I keep wondering if the NFTA missed a major opportunity in recent years when they spent millions on new Metro Rail cars as part of a system-wide update. The new cars came with new technology and an upgraded interior, but the exterior look remained the same as the other dated trains that are used daily.
With so much change coming to downtown, particularly along Main Street where new stations will begin to replace the eyesores from the Metro Rail’s original installation, the NFTA will be front and center. As will their rail cars. Read more…
Ok. Not really.
The start of the season has gone about how you might expect it to and there is still a long way to go before the suffering is over. Sometimes it’s important to take a step back, take a deep breath and just relax. So I took some time to bring a little levity to the current state of the Sabres. Enjoy: