I’m 2/3 of the way finished with my Wish List series, which means I am in the home stretch and ready to finish strong! Let’s bring the pain, Buffalo Sabres fans, beginning with . . .
Yeah, I did it: I went with the A-Train for my pick of which player on the New Jersey Devils I would like to see play for the Buffalo Sabres. There’s been a lot of talk this week about fans wanting opposing teams to fear the Sabres; well, seeing the Russian Bear wearing the blue and gold seems like a pretty darn good step towards that goal, in my eyes.
Volchenkov is probably the most fearless player in the league, in addition to being one of the most fearsome. He’s not dirty (although his elbow to Brad Marchand‘s head last season was), but he flattens opposing players so fiercely that fans will call for Volchenkov’s blood to be shed. He is usually among the NH’s leaders in blocked shots, and it is widely believed that he holds the record for most blocked shots in a year (273 in 2006-2007). He has zero regard for his own well-being, and literally gives everything he has to keep opponents from scoring goals.
Story time: legend has it that when Volchenkov was 20 years-old, he attended the Ottawa Senators orientation camp and leveled a player on the opposing team during a scrimmage so hard that he had to be carried off in a stretcher. Volchenkov’s famous response to one such hit: “They carried him off; I didn’t mean it.” Okay then! As long as he didn’t mean it.
Another reason I selected Volchenkov: this hilarious bio. (Don’t clink that link if you hate laughter and salty language!)
Seriously: picture a blueline with Volchenkov, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Nikita Zadorov. Now, imagine you play for the other team. Hello! The Buffalo Sabres have some monsters getting ready to defend their end of the ice; Volchenkov would be the perfect choice for teaching them the art of destruction.