Fairborn: A fresh start to the beat of a saber and a return to our beloved Buffalo community

I first met John Vogel around this time in 2018.

We both got offers from the athlete Because she was getting ready to launch in Buffalo. He was out with a few of his mates celebrating his last day at the Buffalo News, and Tim Graham invited me to crash the party. Graham told the story of that night On the first anniversary of the athleteStarting in Buffalo. What I remember most about that night is how grateful I am to start this new venture with people like them.

I told John that if he ever needed an extra set of hands on Sabir Just to say the word. We were building something together, and I wanted him to know I would support him.

Fast forward to this spring, and Vogl was planning to transition into a new role and get a well deserved change of pace after 20 years of prolific work on the Sabers hits. I moved my family to New England to cover the Patriots, but we were feeling withdrawn to western New York.

Covering sports in Boston has been my dream for a long time. It was the logical next step on the career ladder after seven years of covering bills. I got to write for an audience that included family and friends who are still in the area. I am so glad we got this time with my parents and friends. My wife and I pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone and grew up.

But it also helped us realize how strongly we feel about Buffalo. It’s where my wife grew up, but it’s also where I grew up professionally after I got the Bills after I graduated from college. It’s where we built a community and raised a family. So when I found out Vogl was transitioning into a new role, I wanted to do my word four years ago. I am pleased to share with you that I will be taking John’s place as the new Saber writer.

Matt and Christina Fairborn

I’m very proud of what we’ve built in Buffalo, and also know everyone else Vogl’s high-profile group to cover Sabers in this market. When I arrived in Buffalo after graduating from college after looking for a job nationwide, I felt lucky to live in a city with a passion for hockey. Growing up playing hockey in Massachusetts, I always felt at home at the rink.

I can still remember my dad laced up my skates for the first time at the Veterans Skating Rink. I remember the long drives we took at skating rinks all over New England and how much I appreciated the conversations during those hours on the road. I didn’t get many awards. That was my greatest achievement as a goalkeeper Kevin Hayes I scored a hat-trick the only time I played against him. But hockey left an impression on me more than I realize.

I know hockey has the same meaning for a lot of people in western New York. I felt like watching Sabers matches from afar as this group started to capture the fan base’s imaginations again in the closing months of the season. I was never in Buffalo when the saber was good, but Graham and Vogel still talk about what it was like during that tour in 2006-2007.

Before I work in the athleteI signed up for hockey coverage. The insight that editors Aron Yeomanson and James Mirtle shared during our conversations about this job was a reminder that I love working here. The team they built covers the sport unmatched by any other outlet.

If you’ve followed my work when I covered the Bills, you know that I try to tell stories that take you places you can’t go and share unique insights about the people who make up your team. I ended up in a Expedition with Brandon Bean He had persuasive conversations with former billers such as Terrell Owens, Carlos Williams, JB Luzman and many more. This place has pushed me to do my best, and I want to give you the same in hockey rhythm.

There is always a time and place to analyze what is happening on the ice, but I hope to go beyond that too, and tell the hockey stories that matter most to this community. The way the Sabers finished the season and the fact that they had three first-round picks in the upcoming draft makes me think there will be no shortage of compelling material.

I’ll occasionally chime in with the bills, too. And I’ll appear at Buffalo Beat where time allows to keep Joe Buscaglia in line. The whole reason this project has been so successful at Buffalo is the readers, so I plan to do everything in my power to make us worth the subscription.

It’s been a whole year, but the change has given me clarity on where my family and I are supposed to be.

I can’t wait to get home and get back to work for you again.

(Top image: Ben Green/NHLI via Getty Images)