Perhaps more than most Sabres fans, I thought they weren’t tough enough.
The “core” of the team was undersized and they under achieved.
The Sabres addressed all of that this week!
First the accusations of Behemoth John Scott and the trade for the physical and, at times dirty (just ask Jordan Leopold) Steve Ott, from the Dallas Stars which also included the best offseason loss thus far.
Say it out loud with me “Derek Roy is no longer on our team.”
Feels great doesn’t it?
It is a little bitter sweet. Aside from sharing the name, he was incredible when he first moved up to the NHL. His determination and his effort were unparalleled on our team and on most NHL teams. Roy faded away though, watching the diving was painful even though his production in the way of points and TOI never dipped. Countless stories of him avoiding scrums and hits on the ice and reminding teammates “it’s just a game” angered me and most other Sabres fans.
Since the news of his departure has made its way through our great city, so have the endless jokes about bars going out of business and Chippewa missing its constant fixture.
All of that aside, the Sabres are better, and without a doubt tougher today. Darcy addressed the biggest criticism his Sabres had albeit a little later than many Sabres fans wanted.
Steve Ott doesn’t bring just the physical/agitator game that fans of the opposite teams can’t stand to see. Ott score goals too, in his time in Dallas Ott averaged 15 goals and 35 points per season. Ott is in elite company with 75 goals and 700 PIMs over the last five seasons, the only other player to post stats like that is Scott Hartnell. A goal scoring menace that I would love to have as a Sabre
Now we can all be sure of one thing this upcoming season, when someone takes a run at our goaltender, hits one of our stars from behind into the boards or hacks our best player’s knee, we won’t sit and wait for the league to make a decision. Our team will!
Hockey is only three months away, three months of 80 degree weather, sunshine, and BBQs. For now enjoy this and hope that by winter every professional football and hockey team cringes at the thought of playing the Bills and Sabres.