Beyond the Boards is written by the Buffalo Sabres Website Manager, Brian Wheeler. Joining the Sabres prior to the 2003-04 season, Wheeler is the main contact and content editor for Sabres.com. He has worked in the NHL, NFL, AHL and NLL over the past 11 years. Click here
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|Andrew Peters (photo: Getty Images) |
Andrew Peters and Eric Boulton's continuous jabbering during the first period of Buffalo's Friday night match-up with the Atlanta Thrashers brought back one of my most vivid memories working for the Sabres.
It also happens to be one of my first.
I was hired by the team during the off-season prior to 2003-04. At least I think that was the year. Seasons start to run together over time.
But I digress...
Having worked the previous two camps for the Buffalo Bills, I didn't exactly know what to expect come fall. Well let me tell you, my first 15 minutes at camp were unforgettable.
At that time, we still held training camp in different cities. The first barn on the circuit that season was the Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines, Ont. It's a nice 45 minutes trip up the QEW from the Queen City.
Nervous beyond belief - being that is was my first "official" day on duty - I made the quick drive, found the arena and walked in ready to assist the media. Back then, my role was a combination of public relations, community relations and updating Sabres.com and Bandits.com.
As soon as I successfully navigated my way to the locker room area our director of public relations and my boss at the time, Michael Gilbert, pointed at me and yelled, "Wheels, Boulton just got hurt. You have to take him to the hospital."
Keep in mind, I barely found the rink.
(The short version of the incident was that Eric Boulton and Andrew Peters decided to tussle, got entangled and Boulton somehow broke his thumb on his way to the ice. You'll remember, Boulton missed the remainder of camp and the first 10 games of that season.)
So Boulton and I climb into my Chevy Cavalier (two door, blue... it's been mistaken for a Lexus in the past) and headed in search of medical attention.
Maybe 15 minutes later, we arrived at our destination, found a parking spot and got him admitted. The rest of the day consisted of us staring at each other.
So basically, my first day on the job comprised of me sitting in a hospital room with a ticked-off enforcer for four hours.
The real kicker was that I got a parking ticket for not putting money in a meter - like I took Canadian cash along with me - and then received a call five months later from the doctor asking for free tickets.
I can't make this stuff up.
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