JW: Great Start

The Sabres season opens with a buzz...

Jeremy White
October 03, 2017 - 8:04 pm

I had planned my Sabres season preview as an open letter to the team. I’ll get to that once we’re done here, but Jack Eichel has signed a max term contract with the Buffalo Sabres. An eight-year deal with the Sabres would mean he’s under contract with the hockey team through the 2026-2027 season.

I’d like to say that I can stay away from the snark, but I can’t. Also, I don't want to say I can stay away from it. I love it.

This is why you tank.

This is why it was so important to win that race to the bottom. For their woeful play for one season, the Sabres locked up an elite talent for what contractually will amount to eleven years. Simply put, there is no other way to acquire a player like this. Teams do not get access to them. They’re available at the top, and the Sabres got in before the NHL took the floor out of the tanking plan. The tank wasn’t about the year or two after Jack got drafted. It’s about the next decade. Thanks, and let’s move on.

One great memory I have of the tank year, is “the 30 Club”. The creation of this club meant that I’d stay awake past midnight watching Edmonton and Arizona games to text fellow tankers the scores of those games. We had some crazy nights, and some great memories. If you weren’t ever in the 30 Club, that’s ok. But I can truly say that sending out those texts, and seeing the responses of these hardcore fans that held the same team-building beliefs that I do, was as much fun as anything I’ve done with WGR.

So.. when they got the news of the Jack extension, they wrote back. Here are some of the reactions:

Out of towners:

  • Jeremy, was in the middle of a 3 mile run through downtown Pittsburgh and fist bumped and howled getting this alert. show reply" 


The Snarkers:

  • The fellow tankers aren't all in jail? 
  • You better wear your Cam Atkinson jersey tomorrow 
  • Bargain if true!!! Raise Arizona!!! 
  • But remember it is bad for the culture
  • But I thought he was going to leave after his rookie deal?
  • Good thing Murray found him in a New York City subway playing the harmonica! AWWWOOOOO 

*Writers note - I’ll have the Snark Cannon ready all day today. And I’ll pour one out for the Coyotes.  


The Revelers:

  • This is a weird life. We have a football coach who has a semblance of a plan and a hockey team with a plan 
  • I think it moved
  • This is a proud day for all the 30 Club members....how bout a group howl one last time!! 
  • A drop the mic moment for the 30 Club! 
  • Jack eichel makes me wanna shotgun a 30 pack while doing a line of blow 
  • Do we all get matching tattoos now? 
  • jack I knew you when you were just a little text message club now you'll making 10 mil a year. 
  • Awesome! Thanks for all this. Made a tough time in Sabres history a heck of a lot more fun!
  • I'm about to have 8 years worth of beer to celebrate

*Endless thanks to Atkinson, Toews, Kevin Kincade, MacKenzie Skapski, and the broken stick on Long Island.


The inside-jokers:

  • Klefboom and the nuge vs eich and the boys. 2019. Book it

*Klefbom and the Nuge was a fake show that the 30 Club developed for television. It'd be a lot better than Season 5 of House of Cards.


The safety-firsters:

  • This is Chris' phone. Chris can't talk right now because he's driving. We like alive Chris... 


The scared of what might go wrongers:

  • Make sure girgensons sits out practice tomorrow. 


The former morning show producers:

  • Love you too! Go Sabres -Dan Fisher 

*Confirmed: This was Dan Fisher


And of course… SOOOOO many Group Howls!

More than anything, the 30 Club and the tank is a reminder that you can make the best of an otherwise bad situation. Thanks to them.


To the Sabres:

Be fun. Just be fun this year. The people waiting to see exciting hockey, are ready. They’re more than ready. We had a little bit of fun watching the team fresh off the tank year, but then the coach got in the way. They played a style of hockey that literally sucked the fun out of the building. The last guy had no pulse of the team, nor the fans, nor the moment. He hurt more than he helped.

Maybe it takes some time to fully grasp the Housley system, and one would surely know that Jason Botterill has some work to do. That said, just be fun. A fast start. A good start. An AVERAGE start. This team hasn’t been fun out of the gate since before the last lockout (the half lockout).

Be fun. Be good. We did our part. We’re ready.

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