For the Buffalo Sabres – many of the players are treating life as business as usual. Just yesterday there were thirteen members of the blue and gold hitting the ice, hopeful that training camp will begin on time – September 21st.
With the lockout looming, there is little hope that will happen.
Players are resolved to stand firm in their proposal to the league, not willing to accept a salary cap roll back that would cost around 12 million dollars.
If the roll back happened, the Buffalo Sabres would need to trim a significant amount of salary cap space – and they still have RFA Tyler Ennis unsigned.
While a positive face is necessary – players want the season to start on time; according to Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville, “Things are not looking good.”
While players might remain hopeful that a midnight hour deal can be worked out to save the full season, with the league and the NHLPA not even meeting – it seems that hoping for the best is like expecting the worst.
The Stanley Cup is now in limbo again after not being awarded just eight years ago. Many players on the Buffalo Sabres were not even on the roster when the last lockout happened, Jason Pominville himself was in Rochester - so for many, its uncharted waters. Veteran players are around the league however, and do not want things to develop where they are on the losing end of a contract once again.
While fans around the world brace themselves for the potential work stoppage, the Buffalo Sabres organization is moving forward, business as usual until the league tells them to stop. While probably planned prior to CBA talks, the Buffalo Sabres will invade Canada for the their inaugural “Invade Canada Caravan” taking players, alumni, and other personalities will travel into Southern Ontario – to reach out to the regionalized Buffalo Sabres fans. The trip kicks off as they plan on spenind an hour serving patrons at Tim Hortons in Fort Erie. The two day adventure takes place on Thursday and Friday of this week.
Business as usual however, will get disrupted if a deal cannot be completed on time, and the biggest part of Buffalo Sabres hockey that will be affected is Rick Jeanneret. At 70 years of age, the long time passionate voice of the Buffalo Sabres is nearing the end of the road when it comes to his broadcasting career. After reducing his schedule last year – many fans were encouraged by the announcement that he would call the full slate of games this year.
Eliminating the 2012-2013 season will put an faster close on one of the most passionate fans in Buffalo Sabres history – and will increase the liklihood that the Buffalo Sabres will be victorious, without him there to make what will become the most famous call in broadcast history for the Buffalo Sabres, and the Buffalo sports scene.