I've been living a happy, Bucky Gleason-free life but Gambler went and blew that out of the water by commenting on his weekend column over at Desperation Hockey. There were many, many things to be annoyed about: Is Jochen Hecht someone who commands respect in the dressing room? I don't know, why don't we ask the teammates who voted him captain? The defense sucks but Brian Campbell should be re-signed right away? The Rangers' slow start isn't indicative of trouble but our slow start means disaster? Dmitri Kalinin has been mediocre? Bucky, do you even watch hockey?
Here's the part that really got me though:
The Oilers gave Ryan Smyth a video tribute when he returned last week with Colorado in his first game back since Edmonton traded him. They did the same for Jason Smith when he returned with Philadelphia. It was a classy move in both cases. Just wondering if the Sabres have anything similar planned for Drury and Briere.
Now I already mentioned in my last post that I thought what the Oilers did was stupid. If you want to give Smyth a tribute when he retires, fine, great, have at it. But while he's still an active player and he's on the other team, treat him like every other opposing player. If the fans want to give him a standing ovation or acknowledge him in some way, let them do it. Otherwise let it be.
But atleast Smyth and Smith played in Edmonton for a long time, eleven and seven years respectively, I believe. Chris Drury and Daniel Briere played in Buffalo for seven years combined and both chose to play somewhere else. Why should they get a video tribute that other players didn't receive? Jay McKee played here for almost a decade and was as valuable - I'd argue he was even more valuable - as Briere or Drury. No video tribute for him? Everybody loves Marty Biron and he also played here for close to ten years. Not worthy? Heck, Stu Barnes played here longer than Briere and Drury, wore the C, and played in a Stanley Cup Final. Dominik Hasek was the team for many, many years and while he was a prick at times he was also arguably the best hockey player to ever put on a Sabres uniform. How was he welcomed back to Buffalo? We booed his ass. Which is exactly how it should be. Let the fans welcome back returning players in the way they see fit. The organization needs to stay out of it. How are Tim Connolly and Ryan Miller and Jason Pominville supposed to feel, sitting on the bench before a game, watching a tribute to a player who left Buffalo of his own free will and is about to step out on the ice in a different colored jersey, especially after an entire off-season of hearing, "Geez, this team is really going to suck without that guy!" No, I don't think so. Let it go. Move on. I enjoyed watching Drury and Briere and I wish there had been some way to keep them and everyone else around. But if there's a video tribute welcoming them back, I'm throwing stuff at the jumbotron. Let it go, Bucky. Good lord.