Odds and ends ahoy!
As much as I love Darcy Regier, I really hate his tendency to respond to building hysteria by calling press gatherings where he gives some variance on "EVERYTHING IS UNDER CONTROL! PLEASE REMAIN CALM!" They don't work. It just feeds into the panic. It's like poking a sleepy but awakening bear with a really pointy stick. I suppose I can understand responding to the masses, but I don't know, I think he'd be better off just leaving it alone. Pick up the phone when the newspaper calls and leave it at that especially since, last I saw, Brian Campbell is still here. I understand fans getting nervous, but geez, nothing has even happened yet. (Note: I actually do NOT understand getting nervous because Brian Campbell is not Chris Drury or Daniel Briere.)
More than a few people have pointed out to me that, regardless of how I feel about Brian Campbell, the market is the market and the Sabres can't expect to pay an offensive defensman less than everyone else is. To them I say... you're right! Ha! Wasn't expecting that, were you? I'll admit that part of my problem on this issue is an overall frustration with how quickly the GM's and owners have let the market spiral out of control post-lockout. Brian Campbell shouldn't be within spitting distance of making what Nicklas Lidstrom makes and he might be when all is said and done. I'm amazed that a group of people with so much knowledge can - time after time - shoot themselves in the collective foot. I give Darcy a lot of credit in this area. He may be cautious, sometimes overly so, but atleast he's attempting to use his brain. Too often I think that puts him in the minority.
For the record, however, I'm not changing my tune on Soupy. Six million plus is too much of the team's cap to sink into a player like him. So there! I am not, however, looking forward to the sure-to-come city-wide freak-out if Soupy moves on.
Quick injury update. I had my first post-op appointment a week or so ago. The doctor said everything looks okay - which was mildly amusing because my foot looked pretty disgusting - but I still can't put any weight on it until the next appointment which is at the beginning of February and that's only if everything still looks good. The staples were taken out and I got a shiny new plaster cast (white - I was so disappointed that I didn't get to choose a color) and I'm getting a little better on the crutches but it's still pretty darn boring sitting around all day which is why I've posted something almost every single day. Apologies in advance if you get tired of me. This isn't my personal x-ray but this is the surgery I had done and pretty much what mine looks like:
Pretty snazzy, eh?
And finally, a few days ago I wondered about Paul Hamilton generally being the only person who speaks in the media scrums after Sabres games. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News happened to see that and he emailed and elaborated on it a little more. A few of you commented when I mentioned it so I thought you might like to read what Mike had to say because it's pretty interesting. (This is fully with Mike's permission, just in case you're wondering.) I cut out a few sections just so it wasn't quite as long so if it seems to flows funny, that's all on me.
He is very knowledgeable (played in college at Iowa State FYI) and well-respected in the media. When you see a gaggle of microphones around a guy after the game, Paul is usually the only REPORTER there. The local TVs, in what I think is just a ridiculous decision, often do NOT send a reporter into the locker room after a game and just have a cameraman so that guy isn't a journalist and for the most part couldn't ask a question if his life depended on it.
Furthermore, the print guys very rarely go to the same guy Hamilton and the cameras go to. I don't mind Paul using one of my questions but when a station just sends a camera, they're sponging off me and I don't like that. So if Paul goes to say Pommer, the cameras tend to follow and I'll go to maybe Kotalik. Then switch off, etc. So you'll almost NEVER see or hear us on those interviews.
On the road, it might be a little different cuz there's usually no one in the locker room except Paul, me or John Vogl and maybe a local AP guy. You might hear us once in a while there.
At the end of an interview, you'll hear Paul say, "That's Jason Pominville on the postgame show, back up to you." But that's not the end of the interview. Paul is off to the next guy but after that, the player usually talks for another few minutes to us ink-stained print wretches.
Something else to consider: Paul is a rights-holder collecting comments for a live postgame show on the station that broadcasts the game. Professional courtesy dictates you try not to step over his questions too much, especially since his stuff has to get to air within 10 minutes or so. You let him get the first 2-3 questions before you jump in if you're with the same player.
And on the road, Paul is in a major time jam. He flies home on the team charter (because he's on the flagship station). We do not. He has to be on the plane within an hour after the final horn so he has to email his MP3s to the station for air. You gotta let him get done and go.
So as you can see, there are a lot more dynamics to the situation than just people letting Paul ask all the questions.
I had no idea Paul Hamilton played in college. That's totally awesome. Also, I'm really surprised that the TV stations don't send reporters into the dressing room if for no other reason than to build some kind of relationship with the players. Crazy.
(Thanks, Mike! Tell Bucky I said hi!)