Forget us not

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:38 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Jaroslav Spacek had a pair of reminders of his time in Edmonton this past week.

Not only were the Edmonton Oilers in town to take on his Buffalo Sabres, earlier in the week, a replica of the Clarence Campbell Bowl showed up at the HSBC Arena.

Each member of last year's Western Conference championship team got one.

"I have great memories from Edmonton," said Spacek, who is currently nursing a hand injury and didn't play last night.

"I just got the trophy a couple of days ago which makes it more emotional for me.

"The worst thing about it is that our first game of the year was in Carolina. So I was there when they raised the banner, which was tough."

SIGNED WITH SABRES

Spacek signed a three-year $10-million deal with the Sabres in the off-season.

The Oilers had offered the defenceman a similar offer to stay in Edmonton.

"I had the two offers on the table and I decided to go with Buffalo," Spacek said. "The deals were similar. After the deals were on the table I talked to my wife and we decided to move to the East."

Losing Spacek was the second blow to the Oilers who were forced to trade Chris Pronger shortly after making it to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.

"It was nothing personal with Edmonton," Spacek said. "It's just a little easier out there with the travel and the schedule."

ALL ABOUT LOCATION

It's obvious Spacek didn't make the move because of the climate.

Yesterday Buffalo was still digging out of a snowstorm that hit the area.

However, for many players nowadays, it's all, location, location, location.

"I spend a lot of my career used to the travel in the west with Columbus, Chicago and in Edmonton and I was okay with it," Spacek said. "But when my son was born and got a little older, when you go away for two weeks you miss them. Not a lot of people were coming to see me in Edmonton and now it's easier for my friends and family to come see me."

Spacek sat out yesterday's game with a broken bone in his hand. He hurt it in Saturday's 3-2 overtime win over the Calgary Flames.

He's expected to be out for at least the next two weeks.

"I fell down and accidentally blocked a shot," joked Spacek. "Actually I went down to block a shot and the puck hit me just above my glove. I would have loved to play (last night). But maybe I'll enjoy the game a little differently. The guys would probably go after me anyway."

Prior to the injury, the native of Rokycany, Czech Republic had five goals and 15 assists in 53 games.

Last year he had five goals and 14 assists in 31 games with the Oilers after being traded from the Chicago Blackhawks.

"He's had a good year for us in a different role," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "He understands that we have six defencemen that play universally. We use them pretty much in every situation. He's assumed a lot of a penalty-killing role recently and he was used a lot in that situation."


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