Where Mr. Golisano have you been the last two years? Have you not seen your darling children in Buffalo fall apart? In the two years after the lockout there wasn’t a night when you were saluted on the jumbotron – waving from the owners box. As the team continues to put in 10th place seasons, we have a better chance of seeing the Regis in the halls of the arena again before we see you. In your absence, fans see you throwing money into political battles trying to win one for the small guy, when all everyone wants from you is to put a winnging team on the ice in Buffalo. They also see you throwing money away at players that have long since passed their prime here in Buffalo. Mr. Golisano, we know your not a hockey man; so at least hire one of them. Mr. Golisano, what are we eating this off season as a guarantee we make the playoffs this year Connelly’s contract?
Larry Quinn may be the right guy to rebuild an inner harbor that has been pretty much an eyesore for the city of Buffalo, but has really not done an impressive job with the Sabres. I have noticed Larry Quinn is more worried about innovating the game and using the Sabres as a guinea pigs, rather than making them champions.
As part of the longest tenured GM and coach team, Darcy Regier has had plenty of time to recieve much false praise from the team, the league, the players, and the fans. His biggest fault, falling in love with his players, regardless of their skill level. Time and time again Darcy has reiterated the fact that he thinks he has the team to win with. Darcy, its been two years – you don’t have the team in place to win.
Lindy Ruff is the favorite son of the Buffalo Sabres, a beloved player for the team from 1979 when he was drafted, until 1989 when he was traded to the New York Rangers. He was resigned to the team as the 15th overall head coach. Lindy has been in the hot seat late in this season as the message he is projecting to his players. Lindy has had mixed success and failure with his sometimes unconventional ways and wisdom when it comes dealing with his underperforming players. Those that have not claimed the message has gone stale has labeled Ruff as one who stifles and kills style players. Lindy Ruff has been the coach of the Buffalo Sabres for 12 seasons. A look around the rest of the Eastern Conference shows the longest tenured coach as Stevens from Philadelphia at three years. Lindy’s biggest fault, his failure to manage his goaltenders properly.
Keys to success:
Tom Golisano has the business of the NHL, now he needs hockey men in place to bring about a winner to Buffalo. Ruff and Regier are locked into a marriage, and will most undboubtedly go together. Regier will not fire Lindy Ruff. If the Sabres are not going to make personnel changes at the management levels – the changes will have to come on the ice. These guys have proven they can build a winning team, they just have to figure out how to do it again.
2008-2009 grade: D-