I didn’t realize it until today, but the trade deadline actually moved two very important players in Sabres history. Yeah, Brian Campbell was traded to San Jose and Colby Armstrong got shipped to Atlanta in the Hossa deal. The connection: they scored the only goals of the Winter Classic. Did anyone think at the time that everyone on the score sheet would be off the rosters by the end of February? (keep in mind Sid’s still on IR at the moment…)
This brings up an interesting question: what does this do to your memory of the Winter Classic? Campbell and Armstrong are gone, wearing different sweaters and in different cities. Does this change what you think about the game, or even what you will remember about that game as time passes?
For me, I don’t think it does. Even with such a huge pressure to canonize games as Instant History, Soupy getting traded doesn’t change what that goal did. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that slap shot hitting twine and that stadium exploding. It’s a moment that gives me chills today and I don’t think contract negotiations will change it.
On a much larger extent, maybe the players moving and my feelings remaining the same says a lot about what that game was really about. Just recently I was looking through some of my photos of the game and this one stood out:
There is something about those two fists in the air that gets to me every time. I don’t remember the exact moment, or why they are cheering, but just being able to see the size of that crowd and still pick out a single person is just a stunning visual. I think it really shows the sheer volume of that event. Maybe it wasn’t about the players, but more about the fans and the magic of that environment.
Years later, maybe we won’t remember Miller’s toque or Colby’s quick goal, but instead how much fun that day was. The crowd, the atmosphere, and feeling that warm together on such a cold day.
Then again maybe that’s just me. Does it change anything for you?