It's not like he's become my nemesis. Nope, not in the least bit. I'm beginning to wonder, though, what it's going to take. For the past few seasons, I've carried a pair of pucks for Buffalo Sabres' legendary head equipment guy Rip Simonick. I've come home short every trip.
Now, I understand some might question my decision to have a staff guy sign a pair pf pucks. Well, as a Buffalo kid, and especially a Sabres fan, this guy is as old school as they come. He's been with the Sabres since Day One. Before that, he served with the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League. Hence, the two pucks.
With the Sabres coming into town this week, I'll have another opportunity to get the pucks signed. If history repeats itself -- and I hope it doesn't -- it could very well be time to move on. I've left messages for him at a team hotel and talked to members of his staff over the years. To date, nothing has worked.
I entertain no delusions that Simonick is purposely avoiding me. Sidney Crosby? Maybe. But, no, not Rip. Instead, it's more about schedules. By the time I drag my carcass over to Tampa, he's already been at the rink for an hour. From what I hear, he stays there most of the day.
Of all the pucks we've gotten signed, it's hard to believe that I'd be so focused on these two. From a equipment guy, no less. I guess that's a part of being a Sabres fan. Sooner or later, it'll happen.
Hello, old friend
Tuned in to the NHL Network early enough last night to see an old buddy -- Peter Puck. How many of you remember him during intermissions of televised games in the 1970s? Just like the Sabres, that's how far back we go.
It's good to see Peter Puck's shtick hasn't changed, dispensing bits of hockey wisdom in simple terms that even a (fill-in-the-blank) fan could understand. I'm sure there are a few of us who learned a rule or two from him.
Even better, at least where I'm sitting from, was Colin's disbelief that I watched Peter Puck when I was about his age. Yes, it made me feel old. Just another instance, I believe, where hockey transcends age.
5 Big Sigs
Beyond the obvious pair of pucks, here's what we're also hoping to add this week when the Phoenix Coyotes and Sabres hit Hockey Bay:
~ Phoenix's Ilyz Bryzgalov on Coyotes and Ducks pucks;
~ Phoenix's Shane Doan on 2004 World Cup of Hockey-Canada and Canada souvenir pucks as well as a double-swatch jersey card for the Threads project;
~ Phoenix's Viktor Tikhonov, now that he's been called back from Russia, on a Coyotes puck;
~ Phoenix's Jim Vandermeer on a Red Deer Rebels puck; and
~ Buffalo's Tim Connolly and Henrik Tallinder on jersey cards for the Threads project.