First off, before we get to the mailbag, I feel the need to throw some additional dirt on the corpse of Ralph Wilson. I’ll keep it brief because others have made the same point I’m about to more eloquently than I probably will, but it needs to be reiterated. Don’t ever forget while you’re sucking back Genny Cream Ales at the Ralph Wilson Memorial Tailgate Party that Ralph was a cheap old fuck who did absolutely nothing to secure the future of the Bills in Buffalo. When he died, my mind didn’t go straight to “Oh man, this sucks…we should celebrate everything that nice old man did for us!” and jump into the “My Favorite Bills Memory of the Time I saw Ralph at the Stadium and He Shook My Hand And It was Fucking Magical” circlejerk. My first thought was, “How soon do the Bills leave Buffalo?” It’s sad, I wish I could have been able to say goodbye to Ralph without sounding like a petulant little shitbag, but that’s his legacy to me. He left that door open and I ran right through the motherfucker. Not in a rude way, but not with the reverence that would have been deserved had that stubborn old codger actually given a fuck about us. Compared to The Outlander and The Barrister, I was downright polite.
Ok, lets take some Twitter questions, because hey I hate myself and so should you! There’s a definite Ted Nolan theme to all the questions that I was asked. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I have a mild dislike for Captain Compete Level, but we need to dive deeper. I’m totally going to ignore the Buffalo Blue Collar Compete Level Work Hard bullshit, because I’ve made it abundantly clear in this space that I fucking loathe it. Steve Ott, Blue Collar, Ted Nolan, Work Hard - all of it can go die in John Ramsey’s wine cellar for all I care.
Now, I know that realistically not all of them will become NHL players, not to mention GREAT NHL players. But I think the odds of either just decreased with this Nolan extension. He’s never shown that he likes to play rookies in any meaningful way until this year with Zemgus Girgensons. s that a testament to how good Zemgus is? Or was it “hey, this guy is on my Olympic team, so I should probably keep him around me.”? It’s probably more of the former, but who the hell knows…the latter wouldn’t shock me one bit based on Nolan’s past or the fact that he plays D’Agostini 20 minutes a night because the guy coaches at his hockey school. Hopefully he’s on-board with developing these kids, and not giving John Scott their ice time because “THEY DIDN’T EARN IT,” but based on his magical Try Real Hard Fairy Dust crap, that is the only thing he understands or ever talks about.
He's a singularly focused creature that can't be bothered with the nuances of good hockey, keeping his dick out of the vaginas of other dude's wives, or waiting a reasonable amount of time between meals. So, yes, Ted Nolan is a zombie.
As far as Mikhail Grigorenko and Joel Armia?? I’m writing them off now. There’s no fucking way they amount to anything under Nolan. He’s not going to let them. So this move has already cost them 2 quality young players, both first round picks. How long will the final trail of Marek Zagarapan-ish dead be?
So when will the Sabres be good?? Before this extension I would have said 3 years to playoffs, 4 years to serious hockey team. Now?? At least 5 years to maybe hitting 8th place, and I’m basing that off of the fact that 2 first overall picks will have enough natural talent to overcome the bullshit they’re going to be subjected to the minute they pull on that sweater.
The other part of the Nolan thing I hate is that it’s not a hockey decision by any means. It’s bullshit pandering to all the fucking horrible assholes who (I hope) are a very vocal minority and drink the Berry Blue Collar Kool Aid that Nolan dispenses, like a modern day Jim Jones – wherein Cheektowaga is like Jonestown. One day I hope to come home and find a bunch of fat, dead Pollacks in PatrickKaleta jerseys laying on Union Road with blue lips. Whereas Ralph Wilson died and did some shitty things, at least he never let the fucking WGR Whiner Line influence his decisions as it relates to his team.
You know, Buffalo is a tremendous hockey town…people will go watch hockey, even if it’s real bad. If the Sabres had a marketing department that was worth a shit, you wouldn’t need to hire bad coaches because people like them to keep people coming to games. You seriously waited until last week to do “Fan Appreciation” events?? Fucking Christ, teams around the league do all sorts of cool shit to get people to go to games. Promotions for students, promotions for LGBT groups, bobblehead giveaways, trading card giveaways, t-shirt giveaways, Star Wars Night, Lord of the Rings night…whatever. The Sabres do so fucking little of this that I understand why that arena has become a silent, miserable place. It has a little to do with THEY BAD and a lot to do with “going to games isn’t fun”. You have a market that will eat the shit you put out for it, and you can’t even put out some ketchup or mustard to dull the taste a little for them. Give some incentive for people to not race to StubHub and get that $7 for a Florida Panthers game. Make losing a little bit more fun than it has to be, there’s always going to be people mad that you suck shit as a hockey team that you won’t be able to placate – but those people aren’t going anywhere – do fun shit to keep fringe people interested in whatever the fuck it is you’re doing over there.
Fuck, lets move onto some fun questions before I start hemorrhaging.
As far as other teams go – the Penguins will always be my second team, and I’m partial to the Sharks as well.
I’m always down for some man shooting or hockey pucks on the video game systems, but I usually don’t play until you east coast shitbags are sleeping. I have both Xbox One and PS4 (and Xbox 360 too) – you can hit me up at essbeeay on Xbox Live or essbeeay on PSN. I might not always jump on the headset if I'm being sensitive about making a shitload of noise and risking my dick being removed by an angry Vet Student.
You can also follow me there on Twitter, @essbeeay which is how I usually sign off…so bye!!