We Sabres fans thought that Vanek contract was bad.

Tamara is always awesome with informing me with hockey news, especially because of me working now often. I work through all the exciting stuff to happen. So she texted me and when I got out of work, I learned that Ilya Kovalchuk had signed with...

New Jersey.

For real? Okay, so I had a feeling that he might pull this sort of stunt to screw with our heads. Keep sitting on his hands until the RIGHT deal came up and it was with the same team he was on at the end of the season. I just never thought it would go through like that. So I thought to myself 'Okay Ilya, you're the ultimate douche and I hope the system kills your playing ability' etc. etc.

This was before I heard what the contract was. Seventeen years at nearly $150 million. I have no idea what the cap hit is per year, but to put it bluntly, holy shit. What happened to the salary cap? Could the NHL possibly go into a lockout mode sooner than they expected, again? This is ridiculous. I saw on Twitter the other day that maybe each team should have a maximum number of years they can sign a guy. I mean, who really thinks Ilya is going to play for seventeen more years? Anyone? He upped my shock face from when the Blackhawks signed Marian Hossa to that fifteen year contract last summer. I wasn't that surprised when Ovie was signed to a thirteen year deal though...

And Sabres fans were afraid of that Vanek contract. Some people still are. It makes me wonder if that was the contract that started everything. I hope not.


Non-hockey season is sooooooooo boring.

I wish I was able to come up with things to post about but I can't. Ilya Kovalchuk still has not signed with any team and at this point, I don't think anyone really cares anymore. In fact, if he signed with an NHL team, that team's fans might not even give a flying bleepity bleep. I use to respect the guy as a hockey player too because I think he has immense talent (or maybe that was just Atlanta making him look like a superstar)? Unfortunately this stupid waiting game has cost him my respect so whatever Ilya, go do what you want to do. Go to the KHL for all I care.

The Sabres summer has quickly gone from boring, to exciting, to boring again. I need news on anything. I will TAKE news on anything. The last thing they did was sign a forward for Portland, Tim Conboy, and I read he destroyed little Nate during a game here at HSBC? DISLIKE. Welcome to Buffalo/Portland Tim, etc. etc. Just don't kill any of your teammates now. I'm sure Nate is just THRILLED about this.

About a month left until some of the boys will show up at the Amherst Center to warm up for training camp, thank God. I need some hockey in my life. I hope that I'll be able to go out there for a few of them if work doesn't happen to tie me up. If not, then I'll just go the days that I can.

ALSO, the most important news of the day that's actually old news: Ryan Kesler has a Twitter. Have fun kids.


In His Defense: Patrick Lalime.

I don't exactly know where to start on Patrick Lalime. When he had first come to the Buffalo Sabres in the 2008-2009 season, I didn't know much about the guy. All I knew was that he was a veteran goaltender who had previously had stints with Pittsburgh, Ottawa, St. Louis and Chicago.


Quick thing.

That Patrick Lalime defense post will come up shortly (Tamara wants it NOW) but I'm lazy and I'm trying to figure out how to properly word everything to make it right. The guy deserves a GOOD post in his defense so I need a bit more time.

As a filler and because I need my Vanek news during the summer, his website announced that the man himself will be the father of TWINS! So now there'll be three children in the Vanek family and I couldn't be happier. The twinsies are due in November. I hope this doesn't take a toll on him like it did when Blake was born but I know in his life, family comes first. I'm okay with that.

Also, he's getting a plaque placed on a stadium near Olympic names in Zell am See, Austria. They had a ceremony for him yesterday and that's where he announced the news of the twins. He had a book signing too, which, someone needs to get on that and translate it into English. Just reading the excerpts from his website makes me want to read more of it.

I swear I'll have that Patty post up, eventually. Even if it kills me. Maybe.


Sabres go for two: Sign Rob Niedermayer and re-sign Patrick Lalime.

While it's been quiet in Sabreland for the past few days with the minor exceptions of salary arbitration, the signing of some prospects, and development camp going on at Dwyer Arena at Niagara University; something finally went down today. The Sabres signed Rob Niedermayer earlier this afternoon. I for one did not know he was up for a contract. I thought for sure he had signed longer with the New Jersey Devils after leaving Anaheim.

It was amusing when the news broke because most people were immediately thinking of Rob's brother, Scott. While Scott is an awesome player who has unfortunately hung them up for good, it's pretty cool to have his brother on the team. He is less awesome but still awesome. I used awesome too much in this paragraph, forgive me.

Word has it that two other teams vying for Niedermayer's services were the Oilers and Penguins. I understand passing up the Oilers because of their current state but the Pens, really? I love it when players come to Buffalo BECAUSE THEY WANT TO, not because it's their only option. Welcome to Buffalo, Rob!

What else happened today? Oh that's right.

Yes I'm excited, what of it? I think I might have to do a full on rant tomorrow about how I feel about the guy's playing and why I'm glad he's sticking around. For now, I'll just wish the guy a very happy birthday and a welcome back!


Day 1 of Free Agency: How Swede it is not, a not so great Finnish and...hey Jordan Leopold!

Pun totally intended on that whole title. Except for the 'hey Jordan Leopold' because I couldn't think of anything witty to do with that. Give me a break, it's late when I'm writing this post.

I was home for most of the fireworks from earlier today but was at work when our Swede and our Finn departed this team. Tamara had to come into Tim Horton's to inform me of the horrible news. I'm not saying I was completely shocked because most of us know how Darcy rolls by now. Apparently he did everything he could to keep the two of them but I don't know if I believe that a hundred percent...

So Toni is off to California while Hank is only going to New Jersey (which is ironic in itself, considering that goal he scored against Marty...). I know that they'll both be in good hands but they were on this team when I started to get back into hockey so I'm extremely sad. I just wish them the absolute best with their careers now.

Now Jordan Leopold was influenced to come here by the one and only Thomas Vanek. Not totally, but I guess when the Sabres showed interest, he talked to Thomas and their wives conversed as well. I think that's pretty awesome how players that are friends can talk to one another and ask if it might be a good decision to go to so and so place. I think the real thing that sealed the deal was Thomas mentioning how the wings were good here. Oh, you sly man you. Leopold was signed to a three year contract so he'll be here for a bit. I just hope that he's good.