Buffalo Sabres want to have your babies (as hockey fans)

Greg Wyshynski

It’s said that hockey fandom is a cult. So it’s only fitting that the Buffalo Sabres would be engaging in some sort of infant indoctrination ritual at local hospitals involving hoods and a message from their high priest.

The team has started a “Buffalo Sabres Newborn Program”, in which every baby born at Millard Fillmore Suburban and the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in 2013 is given a Buffalo Sabres baby blanket and a certificate from Sabres owner Terry Pegula, who apparently owned a few Cabbage Patch Kids as a young billionaire.

From John Vogl of the Buffalo News:

“Fandom in Buffalo is something that runs much deeper than in most other places,” said Sabres President Ted Black, who will visit Millard Fillmore this afternoon to kick off the program. “Even from birth, people here know that hockey and the Sabres are a part of life. This program is a way for us to welcome the newest members of our community and hopefully plant the seed of passion that will grow into a lifetime of embracing the game that we all love so deeply here in Buffalo.”

The gold, hooded baby blankets are emblazoned with the Sabres’ logo and “We Live Hockey” on the back. They also have “’13” to signify the year and Kaleida Health’s “Buffalo Baby” logo.

And what baby wouldn’t proudly share a sweater number with Yuri Khmylev?

[Also: Young fan dons mohawk and blackface to meet soccer star]

This is pretty shrewd move by Buffalo. In the sense that no matter what happens, Ryan Miller will no longer be the whiniest person wearing a Sabres logo…

Here's a look at Terry Pegula's Sabres Babies:

In all seriousness, this is exactly what the NHL needs to do in the U.S. We’d go a step further and hand every newborn a stick, a helmet and tiny baby skates, although we acknowledge that could be awkward for the mother during breastfeeding.

We look forward to other teams stealing the Sabres’ idea. Like when babies in Philadelphia are handed a Comcast cable box and a 12-year contract. Or when a baby is born in Jersey and is given a "Rangers Suck" onesie. Or when babies in Boston have their lifeforces sucked out of them by a vampiric Jeremy Jacobs ...

If the Leafs attempted to give every newborn a blanket and a message from Brian Burke, could it be considered child abuse?

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