Jack Eichel and Evander Kane share more than the strong likelihood they'll eventually be Sabres teammates. There's a supreme self-confidence in both, a demeanor that detractors dub "cockiness" and supporters deem "belief." While it may rub some folks the wrong way, a large contingent of fans digs this attitude.
In the case of Eichel and Kane, a memorable meme connecting the two seemed destined to pop up at some point.
Twitter account @WhatthePuckpics, run by a passionate hockey fan named Jeff (who requested his last name be omitted from this story), posted a Photoshopped image -- a Sabres-themed play off the movie poster from comedy "Get Hard" [read the review here] -- on June 12, and it was favored by the social-savvy Kane almost immediately, then re-posted eight days later.
Here are the two tweets:
"The poster itself is fitting," says Jeff, comparing the film starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart to the pair of hockey players, in an email. "Evander is known as a hard, scoring power forward [and his] braiding [of] Jack's well-known curly locks gives the poster a fun look.
"It's exciting to see Evander take the time to acknowledge his fans and post my picture," he adds. "Hope it gives him a chuckle every time he sees it."
Already in the off-the-ice spotlight for his beer-guzzling "I'm comin' for ya, Buffalo" Snapchat and his uncomfortable interview with the daughter of a former Sabre, Eichel is expected to be taken as the No. 2 overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres in Friday's NHL Entry Draft.
Kane, one of the NHL's more engaging players on social media (@evanderkane_9), receives a fresh start in Buffalo after a six-year stint in Atlanta/Winnipeg riddled with rumors of discontent and immaturity.
Regardless of the maturity levels of the two players, Jeff's meme reflects one of the reasons why downtrodden Sabres fans can feel bullish about the future.
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who's nowhere near 'hard' enough to appear on the poster, at firstname.lastname@example.org