It’s been a week and a half and that’s the best I can come up with. Since the Canada Day Massacre I’ve been searching for something that sums up the general mood surrounding this offseason. It’s been difficult at best. “Shenanigans” sounds too comical. “Garbage” sounds too domestic. “Crappy”, “stupid”, and “jerk-a-ma-face” far too juvenile, and “wrong” is just too ordinary.
It all goes back to balls for me. It’s just a statement, and a valid one at that. Let’s face it, things went wrong this offseason. Many teams went out and added talent, fixed needs, while we just created more uncertainty and complained about it.
It was bad enough having to read this disgusting article, but that wasn’t the only news the Rangers made this offseason. Petr Prucha, Brendan Shanahan, and Henrik Lundqvist all are under contract now as well. Heck, they even got stronger when Kevin Weekes signed with New Jersey. (They are better off with Juan Pablo Montoya as their backup, let alone Al Montoya)
It is just frustrating. While the two newest Rangers fight over which one gets to wear Jordan’s number, the only numeral quarrel we’ve had is Paul Byron wearing 21 at Sabres Rookie Camp while Drew Stafford wore 9. (Seeing the two of them side by side was like watching Yao Ming slow dance with Verne Troyer…)
The point is this: so far this offseason has been balls. Can it get better? Yes. In fact, every day that passes I grow more excited about the coming season. Still, with the schedule released yesterday I am reminded of the realities of this offseason. Both Chris Drury and Daniel Briere are coming back to Buffalo this season wearing another team’s sweater. That hurts. That’s balls.
We will also open up the season raising the President’s Trophy banner against our “longtime rival” the Islanders. I’ve written before about the prospect of raising that banner without a captain. It will be an interesting night to say the least, and I will approach it with both excitement and apprehension.
Still, this entire offseason has been depressing to say the least. Many people claim it to be the worst two weeks in Sabres history, but I feel it is the simple effect of reality setting in. In this New NHL, or any NHL for that matter, the world is not our oyster. These past two years have been magical and probably saved this franchise, but now is the time reality takes over and makes us just a hockey team.
Yes, it sucks. No, it’s not fair. But since when has anything been fair?