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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
Drew Stafford (Bill Wippert)
You may have noticed a bit of a fashion statement going on inside of the Buffalo Sabres locker room.

Steve Montador first sported the look. Then players like Nathan Gerbe and Drew Stafford followed suit… well suit coat anyway.

That’s because the latest trend at HSBC Arena is a simple white jacket that is currently serving more as a motivational device than a style accessory.

“It came from a collaboration of players and coaches to try and have something you can have fun with,” Head Coach Lindy Ruff said.

In short, it’s the successor to The Pigeon.

Following each game one player is awarded the jacket for his performance, dedication or determination.

A Sabres logo is on the front and the words ‘I WILL’ are embroidered on the back. Whoever is chosen to receive the jacket that night must write a bit of inspiration for others to follow.

“You’ve got to take a little pride in wearing it after the game and at the same time that player gives a little speech when the game is over,” Ruff said.

The team had been considering doing something like it for a while, but it wasn’t until a recent road trip that Ruff found the perfect vessel to deliver the message, when he discovered the jacket in one of the team’s hotels.

“I think it’s been great for the team. It’s an idea that was knocked around with the players and coaches and we came up with it. It’s a little bit of creative thinking.”
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