OT: Hockey Heaven

It’s no secret to my twitter followers that I’m a monstrous Sabres fan. For those of us who bleed blue and gold, free agency opening day has been hell for the last 4 years. 2007, we lost Chris Drury and Daniel Briere. Absolutely brutal. 2008-2010 we’re literally pointless. No big acquisition, no big signings … nothing exciting except watching the big-name players move everywhere else but Buffalo.

Tomorrow is opening day of the free agency market. At this point, to Sabres fan, it’s almost an afterthought already.

In the last 48 hours, we’ve acquired Roybn Regher from Calgary–considered by many to be one of the top defensemen in the NHL–and as of this afternoon, we’ve signed Christian Ehrhoff from Vancouver. Yah–he of Stanley Cup finals fame and experience. The rumor is that he had an off finals because of a shoulder injury, and he still had a good run.

Whatever happens tomorrow or in the days/weeks to come is pure icing on the cake. We’ve already beefed up our blue line more than we dreamed possible. We’ve been watching these annual NHL goings-on with such disdain and jealousy that it’s been surprising to be caught up in such a whirlwind of excitement and … erm ….. luxury, I suppose. I mean, I don’t know any other way to put it. We’ve been the bridesmaid for so many years that this being the foot that fits the glass slipper is a totally unexpected but more than welcomed experience.

Terry Pegula is the flat-out man. I’ll give Darcy Regier his props for being GM, but really … TP is the hero of the day.

EDIT: It’s almost 1 in the morning in Utah. We are about 9 hours away from the free agency market doors swinging wide open. I cannot sleep. My eyes are heavy with exhaustion from the adrenaline rushes throughout the day. I’m already planning next year’s playoff parties. Hell, if I were mayor Brown, I’d be planning the parade route as of Saturday morning. Hey, why not?

I’ve been following Buffalo sports for almost 25 years. Between the Bills and Sabres, I *know* bitter disappointment and resentment (I’m staring straight into your soul-less eyes, Dallas). Part of me *wants* to go to bed because I know that’s about 7 hours I can shave off the wait. The other part of me is irrationally afraid to go to sleep because I seriously do not want to wake up and face the possibility that every Sabres fan’s greatest dream that could possibly less than 12 months away was nothing more than an over-stimulation of cerebral cortex while REMing into oblivion. Right now, my best chance at seeing the Sabres hoist the cup is to simply not go to bed. Obviously, that’s not going to happen, and yes–I know how ridiculously psychotic this all sounds. I don’t care.

You Cleveland sports fans know what I’m talking about here. The pain of realizing your teams are at best runners up to someone else excruciating at best. I’m not willing to face that just yet. So for now, I will continue to stay awake. More than likely, I’ll fall asleep in this chair. I’m okay with that … so long as when I wake up, nothing changes. We still have Ehrhoff and Regehr, and we’ll still be riding the dream until next June when Buffalo graces Lord Stanley’s cup.

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