The Instigator Podcast 7.28 – Applying Kekalainen’s Deadline to the 2007 Sabres

In the wake of the first two eliminations in this year’s playoffs, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at how Jarmo Kekalainen’s aggressive trade deadline strategy may have been applied to the 2007 Sabres. So we endeavored to apply a similar approach to what the Sabres could have done in 2007 while staying within the limits of the salary cap and realistic moves that were available at that time. Along the way we unpack the series sweeps suffered by the Penguins and Lightning, discuss the signings of Casey Fitzgerald and Jacob Bryson and touch on the disappointing attendance at this year’s Frozen Four.

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Reflecting on the Sabres Summit

There is little doubt the Sabres Summit was a success. It served as a forum for Sabres bloggers to have their voice heard by the Sabres organization. Specifically, their voice was heard by team President Ted Black.

Of the topics I had pegged to bring up, a few were covered by my fellow bloggers, as I expected. However, I had two topics that I wanted to make sure I brought up. The first being the potential re-use for the empty Backstage Club/former Ira Ross Aerospace Museum. The second topic was about the potential return of the Frozen Four and re-implementing the Punch Imlach Hockey Showcase.

The space that was previously used by the Ira Ross Aerospace Museum is situated along the side of FNC, behind the Sabres Store and below the Harbor Club. While the arena renovations were being completed, this housed the Sabres gym equipment. Now it lies vacant, waiting for a new use.

Black noted that the space is 12,000 square feet, there is little space to utilize it as a restaurant due to the store and other neighboring rooms. However, he also pointed out that he has a secret plan for the space that he doesn’t yet wish to reveal. My hope is that his idea is for a Sabres Hall of Fame.

I was unfortunately unable to follow-up my original question with my thoughts on establishing a Hall of Fame in that space. Black also mentioned the terrible location for the entrance to that part of the building. Certainly an avenue for access through the arena could be established, particularly for an attraction like that. Black also mentioned that the idea of building vertically into the Harbor Club could be a possibility. It could also offer a secondary source of access.

Not to harp on the idea, as I have detailed most of my thoughts previously, but I think the potential is there to take advantage of the trajectory that Canalside is taking along with the potential connection of the harbor bridge in the near future.

One other idea I did mention with regards to Canalside was for the Sabres to be part of a project to build a Sabres-centric bar. Just like HockeyTown in Detroit, just with a bit more of Pegula’s or the organization’s influence. Continue reading