Sabres Pipe Dream: Spitballing 50th Anniversary Promo Items

Details are slowly leaking out regarding the Buffalo Sabres’ 50th anniversary celebration as we creep closer to October. The team appears to have a full slate of celebrations in store for the 50th anniversary and that got my gears turning.

Everything that’s come out so far seems pretty great. A fan fest will return for the first time in a number of years, accompanied by a 5K run. Season ticket holders will receive a handful of additional bonuses, in addition to a commemorative ticket set (more on that later). The team also announced that they will celebrate something referred to as a Journey Through the Decades. Given the set of era-specific 50th anniversary logos that we released, I think it’s safe to assume we’ll get to see jerseys from each era of the team during warm ups on select nights. They’ve also announced a captain’s celebration for the home opener and Founder’s Night for December 2nd.

That seems like just the tip of the iceberg for the team’s anniversary season as we’ve yet to officially see the alternate uniform they’ll wear for select nights, nor have we gotten a glimpse at a promotional schedule with additional giveaways. With that in mind, it appears as if the Sabres are set to devote a lot of time and enerfy to making the 50th season memorable (hopefully the on-ice product cooperates).

Given that a promotional schedule hasn’t been released, I’ll be making some wild guesses, but it wouldn’t be a Two in the Box without wildly speculating giveaways or promotions the team could or should try out. I have a handful of ideas listed below of items I’d love to see incorporated as part of the 50th season – whether via giveaway or for sale in the Sabres Store.  Continue reading

The Sabres and Bisons Could be Sitting on an Awesome Opportunity

The Blues and the Cardinals haven’t been shy about collaborating on a host of different projects over the last few years. Their partnership has been particularly strong since the departure of the Rams and one of the coolest things they’ve collaborated on are crossover jerseys.

Lately both teams have adorned their neighbor’s logo for a day each year and the Cards will be offering up a promotional version for 2018, with a cool away uniform design. It’s a cool giveaway which would probably even garner attention as a retail item.

So far, Pegula Sports hasn’t explored too many crossover retail or promotional items since taking over the Bills, Sabres and Bandits. Aside from the various One Buffalo logo shirts, there hasn’t been too much done to explore crossover items like the Blues and Cardinals have created. At least nothing that’s been worth buying. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 6.6 – Back to Hockey

Training camp opens this week and the Sabres prospects were back playing competitive hockey. In addition to discussing the Prospects Challenge, we touch on the coming changes to game presentation, the addition of giveaways and offer up some reaction to the Winter Classic logos that were released last week.


The Instigator Podcast 5.40 – NHL Bails on the Olympics while the Sabres Bail on Giveaways

On this week’s episode Chris and Tyler run down the decision and potential consequences by the NHL to not send players to the 2018 Winter Games. We discuss the potential impact on the growth of the game overseas and the consequences closer to home. Also on the agenda is the poor giveaway offered by the Sabres for this year’s Fan Appreciation Night and the additional opportunities the Sabres miss when it comes to fan engagement, giveaways and promotions.

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Sabres pipe dream: Mini goal mask giveaway

The Sabres announced April will serve as Fan Appreciation Month in a step to give back to their fans for laboring through a 30th place season. A number of giveaways and discounts aimed at the fans and it appears that the first of which will come tonight prior to their game against New Jersey.

It’s a nice step to take as the Sabres are extending a practice that they’ve utilized since Terry Pegula first took over. Outside of the fan handout on Tuesday, April 1, I’m not sure there’s anything that makes the game an event you can’t miss. Exactly what that fan handout is hasn’t yet been explained. Everything else just sort of exists. The Sabres could certainly do better and after such a dismal season it would go a long way to show the fans that management still cares.

Perhaps the Sabres are still holding their big cards for more successful seasons but I’d still like to see something unique done in the near future in the form of a fan giveaway. One idea that immediately came to mind was a series of goal masks throughout the history of the franchise.

While doing one mask a year wouldn’t be very feasible (something tells me a 15-year giveaway series wouldn’t work in the NHL). However they could certainly do between three and five a year and run up a pretty neat collection for their fans.

All it would take, I’d assume, is to make contact with the player and the person who painted their mask to ensure they had a release for the artwork. Upper Deck has done it previously with mini mask collections and the Sabres could mimic that in their own way. I’d say a five-inch tall mask would be perfect, although that’s pretty large.

I have a pretty decent list of masks that would have to be included in any sort of collection that will be presented here in no particular order.

Dominik Hasek. This is an obvious choice and I’d prefer to go with the basic black with just the B alternate logo on the side, but this version is more visually appealing.

Martin Biron’s half-and-half helmet was probably the most iconic one that he wore in Buffalo besides the Amerks mask he donned when he finally earned a permanent role. In fact, I’d love to see that Americans mask included in this type of collection.

Ryan Miller is sort of a no brainer. They could include his Olympic mask too, but considering he’s so recently departed it may be overkill.

I’m a huge fan of Grant Fuhr’s longhorn skull mask. I’d love to see this one done.

Gerry Desjardins had a very cool mask design that would be a must to include.

Steve Shields wore a very dark mask that was hard to distinguish but I was a huge fan of it. He had another, less cool one as well.

Obviously with Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth being the team’s current goaltenders it would make sense to include both of them in the collection. You can certainly take your pick considering Enroth’s artwork changes each year while Neuvirth’s will be an easy choice.

Additional goaltenders that would be worth including would be Roger Crozier, Tom Barrasso, Bob Sauve  and Don Edwards among others.

It comes down to honoring the goalies who most deserve it (those with the most games played, wins, etc.) or those whose masks have the best artwork. My list leans towards the latter as they’re simply better collectors items than blank masks like Sauve’s and Edwards’ that would probably be very hard to duplicate.

This is just one somewhat goofy idea of the many I cook up throughout the day that I thought would be fun to share. A great many Sabres netminders wore some very cool masks and creating a series of fan giveaways with them could be very cool. Or a local retailer could take up the banner and prepare to take my money.