Perhaps several years from now, if the Buffalo Sabres are entering a new heyday and are celebrating a championship, you’ll see some familiar faces in the crowd.
You may not know their names, but you’ll swear that you’ve seen them somewhere before, in the same head-to-toe Sabres apparel. It’s very likely that you saw many of them in the crowd Thursday night at First Niagara Center. They were openly cheering for the Arizona Coyotes. Yes, this is the new state of Hockey Heaven. Openly cheering for your hometown team to lose. While still wearing their colors.
I totally get the logic. It’s futility for the future’s sake. It’s savoring the increased chance that Buffalo will win the NHL Draft Lottery next month.
But it just feels so... unethical. Listening to the game on WGR Radio while working in the office Thursday night, you could hear a similar tone of disappointment in the journalists who cover the Sabres regularly. These are the same folks who have been sometimes harshly critical of this franchise in their own right.
It says a lot about how low things have sunk when even they look at it and seem disgusted. I’ll readily admit, I couldn’t be any more wrong about how this season would go for the Sabres. Back in the early stages of the season, I predicted while the Sabres would continue to struggle, they wouldn’t possibly be this bad.
Thankfully, I’m still allowed to eat those words on a Lenten Friday.
No, I didn’t foresee the franchise taking this deep of a plunge. But to take pleasure in it? That’s just wrong.
In fact, if there are such things as hockey gods, perhaps it would be fitting to see them bite Hockey Heaven with some serious hockey karma next month. Seeing Connor McDavid donning a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey in June would do the trick.
If you’ve been scanning through our classifieds over the past couple of days, you’ve probably noticed the big ad advertising for, well, my position.
I guess it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. I am indeed moving on. I recently accepted a very exciting (and infrequent) opportunity to return to local radio news. Beginning April 1, I will be joining the news department at WBFO 88.7 FM Radio in Buffalo.
Those who have known me over the years recognize I come from a radio background. When I was recently offered a chance to join WBFO, it was — to borrow from the Godfather films — an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I will have plenty of thank you messages to offer in my next Leading Off column, which will run next Wednesday.
Michael Mroziak can be followed on Twitter at @MrozGazette.