Buffalo, NY—Overlooked in the Buffalo Sabres dismissal of twenty-two employees this past week, which included General Manager, Jason Botterill, his assistants and scouting staff, along with Chis Taylor and his staff at the Sabres farm team in Rochester, was long time team mascot Sabretooth.
Sitting with a bourbon and a Marlboro Light on the patio at Charlie’s Boat Yard, the mascot expressed relief at being fired. “It’s been a good run, but I’m happy to be moving on. After I decompress a bit and spend some time with my family I’m going to be looking for a new opportunity more suited to my strengths.”
With the Sabres missing the NHL playoffs for the last nine years Sabretooth admitted it had become hard to remain motivated. “I mean, how many times can you repel from the rafters of the arena or shoot goddamn t-shirts into the crowd of semi-interested fans before it gets old? How many community events and parades can you attend, where little fucking kids kick you to see if you’re real before you want stick one of your furry feet right up their asses? Believe me, getting fired from this sub-five-hundred organization isn’t worst thing that ever happened to me.”
It also was no secret that team ownership was unhappy with the mascot. “Look, everybody forgets the double duty I did with the Bandits (professional lacrosse team) all through the nineties or all the fun bits I came up in the midst of this neverending playoff drought. But you mention the words Dragon Lady, a couple/ five times within earshot of team president and owner Kim Pegula and the fucking world is going to end,” said the exasperated mascot.
Sabretooth also said he always had an issue with his mascot identity. “It’s just, if I’m supposed to be a sabretooth tiger, why is my shtick to be this lovable clod with two buck teeth as opposed to what a sabretooth really is: a ferocious killer. I guess it’s better than the original mascot—Sammy Sabre, but it’s always troubled me being both a sword and a tiger. ”
NHL mascots had varied responses to the news of Sabretooth’s firing:
-Carolina Hurricanes, Stormy—He’s a legend. I really looked up to him. Nobody could get the wave going like Sabretooth.
-Toronto Maple Leafs, Carlton The Bear—Sabretooth packed in around 2000. That goddamn poseur been stealing money for the last twenty years.
-Los Angeles Kings, Bailey The Lion—I get Sabertooth’s frustration. The team should be represented by a sword or a knife, but he’s a tiger. Just like I’m a lion when I should be a king.
-Minnesota Wild, Nordy—Great. Now I’m never going to get the hundred I lent him when we were boozing at the World Mascot Association Championships.
After some time off Sabretooth is going to update his resume and start the long process of rebranding himself. He hopes the transformation will land him a job as a full fledged tiger mascot at Clemson or Auburn or in Detroit.