The Jordan Leopard
In a surprise move on the first day of NHL Free Agency, the Sabres reached overseas and signed a Leopard from the small Middle Eastern nation of Jordan. What a Snow Leopard was doing in the desert, I have no idea. He probably came from Jabal Umm al Dami which is about 6,000 ft above sea level and covered in snow. Which I totally knew off the top of my head.
The Jordan Leopard has had some injury concerns in the past, but played in 81 games last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and ironically, the Florida Panthers. The Leopard was a steady presence on the blue line of both teams, only giving the puck away 29 times while recording 16 takeaways and scoring 11 goals.
The Leopard is not a physical presence. Presumably because everyone is afraid to go near him and get mauled. He still recorded over a hundred blocked shots in 2009-10 which is impressive because he's a fucking Leopard.
One of the biggest advantages to signing the Jordanian is his shooting percentage which sails north of 10%. The Sabres woeful powerplay will no doubt be bolstered with the Leopard's talent for getting shots on net. Something our defensemen have severely lacked since Nathan Paetsch left.
Some will lambaste the contract ($3M per year for 3 years) as being a significant over-payment, especially since the Leopard will probably blow most of that money eating Sherpas and shit. He doesn't have Lydman's shot blocking or physicality, and he doesn't have Tallinder's...um...predilection for gang rape.
But here's what he does have:
- Razor Sharp Claws
- About Half (29) the giveaways as Tallinder (55) and Lydman (49 in 67 games)
- As many goals last season (11) as Lydman or Tallinder in any two seasons combined (12 and 10 respectively)
- A bite that could break your arm.
So let's recap this. He provides more offense while at the same time being safer with the puck and he costs (slightly) less and will probably kill between four and thirty five opponents? Yes please.