I apologize. It’s been so long since Part 1, that most of you have probably just been weeping in anticipation. No, none of you read Part 1? You just accidentally clicked this link as you were scrolling through your twitter feed? Well, go read Part 1. You can read it here
. Or even here
. Or don’t. See if I care.
The reason for the delay is that I could delay, since, as you are probably aware, nothing was happening. So I took my sweet time, assuming that there would be no end to the lockout, except possibly as a result of Bettman’s untimely death at the hands of an angry Vancouveran mob. But apparently, I was wrong. Doesn’t happen often, so soak it in.
Today, I will tackle the reason why I wouldn’t trade the whole damn Sabres team for any of the teams in the Central Division, which as its name describes, contains teams from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota (East Dakota), Iowa and Nebraska. Wait, those states don’t have teams? Minnesota does but they’re in the Northwest division? I’ll let it slide since the NHL was founded before the West was annexed. (#TrueNHLFacts)
How's that going for you, Getzlaf? (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Sometimes, a season doesn't go the way we'd like. Say, for example, after a promising start, a team brutally crumbles only to climb desperately back to a place just outside the playoffs. Then we often hear talk of rebuilding, cleaning house, etc.
Now no one really means it when they say "trade the whole damn team" as far as I can tell. (Editor's Note: Except @AngryLindy
) Truthfully, though I've never been a GM before, I imagine this would be both difficult and unlikely to yield good results. But if you could trade your whole damn Sabres team for a different team, would you? I'm not saying you can trade every player for a player of equal or greater value to create your dream team. That is completely unrealistic. I'm just suggesting you reach deep down into hypothetical space-time and the inner realms of your conscience to determine whether you would trade the entire Sabres roster for the entire roster of another team.
Note: This does not include prospects. Prospects don't exist in this reality. Another note: If the word "damn" offends you, you may want to stop reading, as I will likely continue to use it before every subsequent occurrence of the word "team". If not, please continue.
I would venture to say that most Sabres fans are Americans. I would also hazard the idea that when it comes to hockey, many Sabres fans are also Amuricans*. I am not excessively patriotic in my everyday life, and often enjoyed the quick trip over the border to visit family in St. Catharines during my youth. Further, I often identify with the neighbor to the North, due to their fierce passions for the sport I also love.
However, when the Leafs bring their hoard to town, or when anyone brings up anything regarding any winter olympics, Ryan Miller, or Sidney Crysby, I suddenly become fiercely loyal to the US of A, and yes, a bit Amurican. I mean come on, "aboot"? So, it is with great pride that we often look at our team roster as the most American in the NHL, with 11 players born in the US. With this in mind I took a closer look at the distributions and mapped them out for your viewing pleasure.
Note: All of this data comes from active rosters according to team websites and is based on birth countries and NOT on the country where they were raised, grew up, played Jr. hockey, etc. For example, Robyn Regehr was born in Brazil, spent his childhood in Indonesia, and then moved to Canada. Tyler Myers was born and spent part of his youth in Texas before moving to Canada at a relatively young age.
Distribution of active NHL players by birth country *The darker red is more active players, white is 1-2 players
Photo by Adam Qutaishat/Sabres Everywhere
"God we have so many defensemen now," you may be saying.
"We should definitely deal someone for some more talent up front," your rather vague friend may reply, "but who?"
"Well, Myers and Ehrhoff aren't going anywhere. Neither is Regher. People have been discussing throwing Sekera in as a sweetener in every trade made since he was born. McNabb isn't getting traded, but he could use more development as could Brennan. Weber doesn't have much value. Neither does Pardy, who as far as I can tell was just too big of a cap hit for Dallas without enough skill to go with it. I'm still interested to see what he'll do. I liked Sulzer with Ehrhoff, but I'm not opposed to dealing him depending on the return," you reply, giving a pretty comprehensive description of the NHL-ready depth on the Sabres roster.
"I feel like I'm forgetting someone though," you continue, thinking hard for a minute or two. "Jordan Leopold!" you finally exclaim snapping your fingers in the air.
"Oh yeah," your friend finally contributes, "that guy."