Buffalo will once again host the Prospects Challenge which is set to run from September 6th-9th at the Harborcenter. In addition to the hometown Sabres, the Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, and Pittsburgh Penguins will be participating in this event.
It is a great opportunity for fans to witness future Sabres and other team’s prospects play in a competitive and organized environment. On top of it all, it is an affordable treat to take the young hockey players/fans to watch a whole heck of a lot of talent. Some autographs the kids may acquire will certainly be that of future big names in the NHL.
Obviously, some of the players may never make an NHL squad. Some are just destined for the minor leagues or for other countries professional leagues. However, with the amount of talent coming in to play on those four teams, it is safe to assume a handful of the players on display will be superstars in the NHL. Others will certainly be well-known role players in the absolute best league on this third rock from the sun.
Sabres Sign Remi Elie to Two-Way Contract
I can not say engendered excitement consumed me when turning on sports talk radio and hearing that the Sabres signed forward Remi Elie to a one-year, two-way contract. He was a second-round draft pick by the Dallas Stars back in 2013. The Sabres picked him up off of waivers last year and he played 16 games for Buffalo. He spent the majority of his time in Rochester where he was very effective in both regular season and postseason.
I have nothing against him whatsoever. He obviously has the talent to be drafted in the second round. After so many years of losing though, I find it rather challenging to get excited about some of the signings that most likely moves for fourth-line depth or AHL staffing needs. They announce signings like these on talk radio, news websites and social media as if the players they sign are the next Chris Drury.
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I know that not every important player is a big name free agent signing or is acquired in a blockbuster trade. Some players on Stanley Cup winners were claimed off of waivers or were viewed as minor free-agent signings. Role players matter. Depth matters. However, every once in a while a player such as this becomes something truly special. I will celebrate that when that player becomes said enigma. That happens so infrequently I just find it very difficult to celebrate those roster moves with great enthusiasm. The Sabres were intentionally built around players like that a handful of years back intentionally in efforts to get Sam Reinhardt and Jack Eichel. So much intentional losing followed by years of losing, while trying to win, takes away the child-like excitement picking out every good feature of every average player.
The Sabres have had a problem for most of the losing years. Not enough really good players. A talent deficit.
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This probably enhances the perception of me being a “Negative Stanley Disciple”. For those of you who have been exposed to the Negative One in past editorials covering the Sabres or the Bills since 2015, I am the Giselle of the pack. When I speak following a statement from Stanley, I am Baloo. If you hear conversations at the chiropractor’s office about the Sabres, if Stanley speaks first, I resemble Ferris Bueller talking to Cameron Fry. I speak like Elle Woods or sing like Maria from the Sound of Music. Obviously in this over the top comparison rant, gender means not a thing. Stanley could be either Statler or Waldorf, Oscar the Grouch, the Grinch, Scrooge, Archie Bunker, Fred Flinstone, The Skipper, Jack Arnold, Thema Harper or another Stan…Stanley Hudson.
I could go on all night with pessimist grumpy legends that would appear chipper lined up next to Stanley. I did realize I went from being a singing Disney chick to a cartoon Bear from the Jungle Book. Dare I say, with minimal resistance, that it is a perfect time to initiate operation digression proclamation.