In the struggle to create new and different content during the shutdown of almost all professional sports, I have decided to start a brief series where I talk to a writer for another team’s blog. I wanted to focus this on writers for teams that the Flames don’t often play and really get to know them.
So with that in mind, we’re going to start this series talking with Chad DeDominicis from Die by the Blade, our sister site covering the Buffalo Sabres.
1. First of all, tell me about yourself. How long have you been writing for Die by the Blade? What made you want to pursue this in the beginning?
This is my third season as Managing Editor for Die By The Blade.Overall, I’ve been writing for seven years now about the Sabres. I grew up around hockey, played hockey, and was a fan of the sport, so nothing in particular sparked me to begin writing about the team. I think one day I just started doing it for some blog and it took from there. I never imagined that I would get to even where I am now by just writing about this frustrating hockey team.
2. What is your day job outside of writing about hockey?
Outside of hockey, my primary job is a Demand Planner. That’s where I get my numbers background with analytics and my love for spreadsheets.
3. How long have you been a Sabres fan? What made you fall in love with them?
Born and raised in Buffalo I’ve been a fan of the team my entire life. I was a little too young to latch onto the 99 Cup run for the Sabres. I knew it was happening but don’t have a lot of memories. It was the 05-06 Sabres team out of the lockout that really pulled me all in on the sport. Talking about that team still gives me goosebumps.
4. Who are your favourite teams in the other major North American sports leagues?
Being in Buffalo, of course, I’m a Buffalo Bills fan. I’m a big Yankees fans and in the NBA I really enjoy watching Steph Curry so I would classify myself as a Warriors fans. I recently got into soccer a few years ago so my team there is Juventus.
5. Which NHL team or teams do you absolutely despise the most?
Three teams that are at the top of my list of most disliked are the Leafs, Red Sox, and Patriots. No surprise with the teams I follow.
6. What is your favourite Sabres moment so far this season?
It’s hard to think of my favorite moment this season. I guess I’ll just say I’ve enjoyed Jack Eichel arriving as one of the top players in the game and finally getting the credit of excellent of a player that he is.
7. What is your favourite Sabres moment of all-time?
Favorite all-time moment is an easy one for me: Chris Drury tying goal with seconds remaining in Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
8. I feel I need to ask this. How is our old friend Michael Frolik doing in Buffalo?
Well, Frolik is doing about as good as he was doing with the Flames prior to that trade. So, not great. He actually found himself as a healthy scratch for the majority of the games after the trade deadline before the season was suspended. I forget he’s even playing most nights when he is in the lineup.
9. 2019-20 was yet another tough year for the Sabres, what do you feel the plan should be going into the offseason?
The Sabres have a ton of cap space and only a handful of players under contract for next season. First, they need to figure out if Jason Botterill remains as general manager. Then, they absolutely need to address second line center. That has been a void since the awful Ryan O’Reilly trade.
10. How awesome has it been to get to watch Jack Eichel blossom into a superstar?
It’s been the saving grace of this season to watch him. Eichel is electric and there are multiple times a game he’ll do something to make you say “wow.” Without him the Sabres would be in a world of trouble.
11. In your opinion, should Jason Botterill still be the GM at the conclusion of this season, whenever that may be?
I think the Sabres should move on from Jason Botterill. In three years the Sabres have not progressed. They’re on track to finish in bottom 7 in each season under Botterill. He’s also failed to address the huge need in the top six and his evaluation of forwards has been questionable, to be polite. The Sabres have a rare opportunity to get a new general manager in with a ton of cap space and only six or seven players under contract for next season.
12. Finally, any tips on good movies or shows to watch while everyone is being isolated?
My plan is to begin re-watching the Marvel series during this unfortunate time stuck in my house. Depending on how long the break goes I’ll move onto the Star Wars series next. The Office is always a good show to go back and re-watch. Parks and Recreation is another good TV series.
I want to thank Chad for taking the time to swing by and answer some questions for us as we all try to get through this health crisis and sports stoppage. We will have more of these in the coming weeks hopefully. Let me know in the comments if there’s any other teams you’d like me to check in with!