Friday, November 16, 2012

Paul Gaustad: 3 Autographed 4X6 Pictures

Now that I have time to start unpacking my things, I came across this neat return I hadn't talked about yet...

Paul Gaustad is nicknamed ''Goose'' because, at 6'5'' and nearly 220 pounds, he towers over most NHL players, and also happens to be stronger than they are. After starting as a fourth-liner/enforcer in 2005, Gaustad climbed his way into becoming the Buffalo Sabres' best (and only decent) face-off man, winning over 60% of them in his past two seasons there.

I sent him these three pictures on December 21st, 2011, care of the Sabres. Needless to say, I was pretty shocked when they traded him to the Nashville Predators two months later (February 27th, 2012), but I did get these back, signed in ball point pen with his jersey number (28) at the end, in April, 2012.

As usual, I did my best to send him pictures featuring different uniforms - all of them with the Associate Captain's 'A' - to get away from redundancy, and to display the many jerseys the Sabres keep throwing at us year in and year out...

Firstly, a design reminiscent of their best look, the 1980s:
Back then, white was for the home uniform; now it serves for away games. The colours work very well together, I just really hate the jersey number appearing (and taking over too much space) in front, football-style; it's already on the shoulders and back (and now also on helmets), what more do you need?

Secondly, a hybrid of their 1980s jersey with the late-2000s slug design:
The team liked the piping, front-numbering and the darker blue, the fans hated the slug and wanted the old logo back. In the name of compromise, this is what came about. Gaustad makes it look good, though.

And lastly, the ''College-style'' lettering crushing the logo on the Sabres' best use of blue-and-yellow/gold:
Seriously, these colours with the original logo would have been a perfect match, for a jersey that looks so modern and yet so classic, that screams 'Sabres' (a lot more than it should 'Buffalo', anyway).

Now I won't say I never thought Gaustad would ever get traded; in today's NHL, most players will play for 5 different teams, or more. But as a Fargo, North Dakota native, I would have seen him with the Minnesota Wild more than the Preds. Heck, with the Philadelphia Flyers, considering his physical style of play.

What I really would have wanted, though, was him with my hometown Montréal Canadiens, centering the third line, with Zenon Konopka centering the fourth - two monsters who intimidate but are also among the league leaders in face-offs won. You can't go wrong with starting most plays in possession of the puck, and physical giants who can actually play the game are also always welcome. Throw in additional minutes on short powerplays posted in front of the net obstructing the goalie's view and you'd have yourself a winner, methinks.

Perhaps another time.

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