Time to play the numbers

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Courtsey of ThreeRiversburgh.com

With the Buffalo Sabres signing defenseman Christian Ehrhoff to a long term deal the Sabres are now going to have to play with some numbers in regards to their salary cap.

According to the Buffalo News the Sabres have about $10.5 million in salary cap space. However, there is a clause that allows a team to go over their cap by 10 percent, which equates to $6.4 million. However, the team must be under the salary cap come start of the regular season.

The problem is that the Sabres have three restricted free agents to sign in defensemen Andrej Sekera, Mike Weber and Marc-Andre  Gragnani. The total to resign all three will be around $2.5-$3.0 million. In addition the Sabres need to resign forward Cody McCormick for their fourth line and he was $500 thousand last year.

That means the Sabres have about $7.0 million in cap space, $2.0 million of which would be reserved for call ups. That means if the Sabres are going to sign forward Brad Richards they are going to have to come up with some creative ways to sign him or make roster moves.

If the Sabres do sign Richards what will most likely happen is that forwards Ales Kotalik and Jochen Hecht will be traded for draft picks or bought out. That would open a position at center that will most likely be filled by center Luke Adam who was the AHL’s rookie of the year.

In the end, this summer is going to be one crazy ride following the Sabres.

 

 

Detroit can keep Hockeytown

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The Detroit maybe known as Hockeytown, but they can keep it, because Hockey Heaven is great.

Buffalo Sabres president Ted Black stated that Buffalo will be Hockey Heaven. Well the Sabres have since proven to be just that.

It started with the installation of a rug that had the Sabres logo on it. Then it continued on to the announcement that they were redesigning the locker rooms and has now spread to the roster itself.

The team already made a big splash last weekend by trading for defenseman Robyn Reghr, and many may have thought that be it until free agency opens. Well that wasn’t the case as Wednesday night it was announced that the Sabres acquired the negotiating rights to defenseman Christian Ehrhoff for a fourth round pick, according to TSN

courtsey of Buffalosportsdaily.com

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Just the mere notion of Sabres general manager Darcy Regier doing such a thing is stunning. Now, you can add on to that as Regier followed through and signed Ehrhoff.

If soon to be unrestricted free agents haven’t noticed what the Sabres have been doing they sure have now as two major acquisitions in the matter of weeks sends the message that the only thing that matters is a Stanley Cup.

In the end, Hockey Heaven is already fantastic.

Colts will pay

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From Photobucket.com

According to Pro Football Talk, CAA is pushing for Colts quarterback Peyton Manning to be exempt from the franchise tag in the next CBA. So, one way or another the Colts could be paying dearly.

If CAA accomplishes this goal the Colts will have only two options. Let Manning walk in free agency or pay his astronomical contract demands.

Manning is 35-years-old and is already showing signs of decline as his deep out passes doesn’t have the velocity as it use too. So, unless Manning wins another Superbowl he will never be able to justify his contract.

This is exactly why the Patriots get rid of veterans in advance of the expiration of their contract for younger players. It gives them a high draft pick, while avoiding a major headache of deciding to pay a veteran and allows them to keep on winning..

The Colts on the other hand don’t have a backup plan for Manning. So, if the Colts don’t resign Manning many bad years are ahead for them.

What this also does is tarnish the legacy of Colts President Bill Polian, because he is leaving his son and Colts general manager Chris Polian one heck of a mess.

In the end, it goes to show why the Colts were always second best to the Patriots last decade.

 

I wonder…

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According to Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, via Pro Football Talk, Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder was given his own talk radio show on WQAM.

That got me wondering who would say more dumb things in this day and age of media coverage between Crowder and former Dolphins linebacker Bryan Cox.

We all know that Crowder is a loud mouth that says things that are either really funny or really stupid that it’s funny.

Cox on the other hand was a loudmouth jerk who has done some really stupid stuff. The most famous being the time he gave two middle fingers to Buffalo Bills fans.

Hopefully, WQAM understands that Crowder sooner or later is going to say something really stupid that will land him in hot water. When that happens WQAM better  be ready for the media scrutiny that will come from it. There also will be times where the station will come under fire from the Dolphins themselves.

In the end, you can bet there are going to be some good stories to come.

 

Helmet change is dumb

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Image courtse of WGR 550

One of the trends going on in society is that old school is new school and you can add the National Football League, including the Buffalo Bills now, as several teams have switched to a style similar to their original uniforms.

While I am on board with the change to the uniform and color, I totally hate the change of color to the helmet.

In recent years the New York Jets and San Diego Chargers made that exact type of change to their original uniforms that included a white helmet. That brought the total number of NFL teams with white helmets to five, and the Bills will make it six.

What really irks me about the color change is what was reported yesterday by Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com. The whole change in the first place was to make the Bills helmets stand out from their division opponents as then quarterback Joe Ferguson was color blind and had trouble distinguishing the Bills helmets from several division opponents who also had white.

That exactly what the red helmet does, it makes the Bills standout from the rest of their division opponents. In a league where every little thing counts, the decision to change helmet color shows why the Bills were in the basement of the AFC East last year.

Here is a question for you. What happens in the later part of the NFL season, especially in Buffalo?

It snows and every other year the Bills play in a blizzard type game where visibility is very poor.

So, here is my next question. If the Bills play the Jets or Miami Dolphins, who also have white helmets, in a blizzard type game, how is current Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick supposed to distinguish the Bills receivers from defenders?

Okay, I know some of you will say the uniforms, but remember a quarterback has five mammoth offensive linemen in front of him and there will be times where Fitzpatrick will only be able to see a receivers helmet. Meaning, there could be situations where Fitzpatrick is merely guessing at what he is seeing.

This is the NFL and many games are won and lost on split second decisions like that. So, the last thing you want is your quarterback to guess, especially on a key play late in a game.

In the end, until the Bills replace CEO Russ Brandon with a true football guy, details like this will always be overlooked.

I wish Cuban owned the Bills

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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is a very outspoken individual that has rubbed many people in the media the wrong way.

After his latest legal move, I wish Cuban was the Buffalo Bills owner.

Courtesy of TMZ

No you are not seeing things. That is an actual picture of the Dallas Mavericks celebrating their championship front and center in a legal document.

According to TMZ, Cuban filed the legal documents in a response to legal papers that were filed back in May 2010 by minority owner Ross Perot Jr. Perot filed the papers in a desperate attempt to gain control of the team.

Perot’s desperation got to the point where he was begging the judge to remove Cuban ‘s control over the team before it was too late.

I know the idea in reality is most likely not going to happen. Still, it would be great to have an owner that gets as emotional as us after a loss.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. cares about the team any less about the team than Cuban. What I am saying is that us fans would have something to entertain us for once.

The problem is that Cuban is so outspoken it gets him in trouble sometimes and the National Football League most likely don’t want to deal with that type of headache.

In the end, no matter if Cuban owns the Bills or another NFL team I will keep tabs on that team, because win or lose they will be entertaining.

Meetings turn out to be an update

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Many people were speculating prior to the National Football League owner meetings that it was going to be a forum on what owners don’t like about the negotiations.

It turned out to be is just an update on labor negotiations.

Many media outlets are disappointed because a rift between owners would have made a compelling story. Especially, if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell somehow repaired that rift.

Most likely, some owners just gave a comment to employees that they don’t like about the collective bargaining agreement. Then those employees started telling others and the owners comments spread like a wildfire.

However, there are some positives to take away from the meetings. According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. players will get 48 percent of all revenues, a player will need four years to become a unrestricted free agent and there will be a new revenue stream in games being played on Thursday.

Yes, there are many other details that have to be worked out, including drug testing and the limit to organized team activities.

In the end, it looks like everyone wised up and decided that the NFL has a great thing going.

Bills departure would be death blow to area

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The Buffalo News report Sunday about the possibility of  a Los Angeles company buying and then moving the Buffalo Bills has led other media sites to write about it.

A Bills move would be a psychological death blow to the area.

The Bills are the heart and soul of Buffalo. They keep the city together. Without the Bills, Western New Yorkers wouldn’t have something to take their minds off of the weather in the fall and winter.

Seriously, what would you talk about with friends during the week if the Bills left?

Movies during those two seasons stink, with big budget films saved for the summer. Also, many people don’t have the money to take advantage of activities on Lake Erie.

The Bills are a large part of the area’s identity. Our history is rooted in factories that paid employees just enough to live, with a little extra for entertainment that often was spent on the Bills.

Yeah, there are probably some activities that area residents enjoy that I am unaware of now.

I am about to complete my bachelor’s degree this week. I likely will have to leave for a good paying job. The chances of my leaving would definitely increase if the Bills left as there would be more unemployed sports reporters with vast more experience than I have.

In the end, if the Bills leave, the possibility of the city turning around would be almost zero.

Time for Jeanneret to go

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Recently, Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret decided to scale back on the number of road games he would call in the upcoming 2010-11 season.

What Jeanneret should have done is just retire.

The Sabres announced Thursday that Kevin Sylvester and former Sabre Danny Gare will call the road games that Jeanneret and color commentator Harry Neale won’t call.

Nothing last forever and the whole situation looks like Jeanneret’s time as the play-by-play of the Sabres is coming to an end. If this is the case, then the Sabres should have just moved on instead of appeasing both the fans and Jeanneret.

Let’s face it, the situation is down right pathetic. It’s like watching the begging of the television show “Supernanny” where the kid does something wrong and the parent just gives in after some kicking and screaming by the kid.

You really think the Detroit Redwings or the New York Yankees would allow this type crap go on in their organization? Hell no! Even hockey legends couldn’t pull something like this off.

Just imagine if NHL legend Wayne Gretzky went up to the Los Angeles Kings or the New York Rangers general manager with the demanding not to play most of the road games. You know what would happen next? Both GM’s would just laugh at him and then tell him to get the hell out.

What Jeanneret is doing is down right selfish, and is creating one big mess.

I can understand that letting go of something that you love is a very difficult thing to do. However, at some point you have to realize that what is more important is a consistent broadcast that fans can turn to night in and night out.

In the end, the Sabres need to step up and pull the plug on this act.

Football will always be better

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The NHL Stanley Cup  Finals between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks  reminded me of why football will always be better.

Throughout the series one thing kept hammering home to me as I watched the games. That is the NHL has to address rules in regards to defense.

The Bruins, like several other teams, are hard to watch, because they play a defense that kills offensive production. For evidence of that you have to look no further than the Canuck’s Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

The brothers were non-existent in the playoffs as every time one of them approached the blue line they were approached by several Boston Bruins.  Even if one of them got a shot off it wasn’t that good of a chance to score.

Slowly and surely the NHL has reverted back to putting the whistle away as throughout the season penalties being called were less and less. Then the playoffs hit and players started to get away with bloody murder.

In the end, until the NHL makes rules to ban certain defenses the NHL will always be the red headed stepchild of the NFL.