There’s going to be a junior hockey team playing at First Niagara Center on Oct. 22. And while this might seem like a reasonable commentary on the state of the Buffalo Sabres, we’re actually talking about the Niagara IceDogs vs. the Connor McDavids, er, the Erie Otters.
McDavid, of course, is the prize of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, where the Sabres are expected to own one of the top two picks after tanking like a parade in Red Square this season. Which makes this junior hockey event all kinds of brilliant: Getting fans to pay to watch to the most hyped prospect since Sidney Crosby who may or may not eventually become to the savior of their favorite franchise.
As they say, the easiest thing to sell is hope. Even in Buffalo.
McDavid promoted the event on Thursday in Buffalo, and could barely contain his enthusiasm over potentially being a Sabre in two seasons. From Bill Hoppe:
“Yeah, that’s something that’s crossed your mind, I guess,.
“You can’t worry about that right now.”
OK, McDavid was a little better about Buffalo in this Buffalo News bit:
"It's pretty cool," McDavid said of the chance to play an OHL game in an NHL rink. "I've been to a couple Sabres games It's a pretty nice spot. The fans are crazy here. They're great. And I'm really excited to play here with my team.
"It's a great organization from what I've seen. I know Cody Hodgson pretty well and I hear nothing but good things. They love playing here. Sam Reinhart was so proud and so happy when he got drafted here. It's a great organization and it would be an awesome spot to play."
HE LIKES US HE REALLY LIKES US!!!
Here’s Brian Duff of Sabres TV speaking with McDavid:
So he's housing with a Sabres fan this season?
This won't be awkward. No, not at all.
Now, the only question left is whether the Sabres might sell, oh we don't know, some sort of blue and gold shirt that commemorates this junior game, with McDavid's name and number on the back and a Buffalo logo on the front. You know, to commemorate the event ...