Tabby's the man! Tabby's the Man!

Tabby's the Man!

By GEORGE JOHNSON -- Calgary Sun
In his moment of triumph, Rick Tabaracci refused to raise his index finger to the heavens and gloat.
Even if last year he needed superhuman self-restraint not to flip another finger this way.
The Tabby refused to purr.
"Let's just say I see some ... irony in the situation,'' admitted Tabaracci, who now enters training camp as the undisputed man to beat in goal.
"As for the pecking order, I'm not paying any attention to it. Who's No. 1? Who's No. 2? I'll let you guys chew over those things.''
That said ... "I'd love to play 65 games this year.''
Yeah, this is the same guy thrown into the waiver draft discard bin not so very long "There are times in the last couple of months, since Calgary reacquired me at the draft, that I've had to laugh out loud. It's been such a weird, weird year.''
A year which has, professionally, at any rate, worked out quite nicely for Tabaracci.
"I like it here. I decided to buy a house, not rent. And that took a lot of guts because, the last time I bought was in Washington, and after I got traded that damn house sat on the market for two years!''
He returns as the man of the people, the gregarious, quotable, cocky, jaunty, in-your-face Tabby.
The honeymoon between Rick Tabaracci and Calgary is still in full swing.
But be warned:
Eventually, this town turns, often viciously, on No. 1 goaltenders.
Like in politics, it's easy to be leader of the opposition but damn hard being the dude in charge.
It happened to Reggie Lemelin. It eventually happened to Mike Vernon. Kidd is just the latest victim.
And while he and Kidd were never going to rent a van and head out on a cross-country vacation together, Tabaracci insists there wasn't the spitting, hissing, hateful relationship many assumed.
"Nope, we were never at each other's throats. It was just a question of two guys wantiung the same thing.
"There were things Trevor said ... well, I was young myself once. You're so full of enthusiasm and confidence.
"He's probably learned a lot these last couple years. We all have to go through it. He has the ability to be a good goaltender. That's never been in question.
"Maybe now, in a new environment, he'll worry more about just playing and being ready to play, rather than who said who was going to be in there and always reading between the lines.''

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