The rumors still swirl that Terry Pegula is willing to spend 5.8 percent of his fortune on purchasing the Buffalo Sabres. Not to turn a profit, but to win Stanley Cup’s. Yes, that is right, plural.
Well, you know what, it is about time this organization had an owner that was interested in winning Stanley Cups. In it’s brief history, the Sabres have been owned by the Knoxes, the Rigas’, and now Tom Golisano. For the Knoxes, it was more of the limelight that brought them onto the hockey scene, they were the ones that wanted to bring a team to Buffalo, not because they loved hockey, but because they were intriqued by it. The Rigas’ saw the team as their own personal piggy bank, and Tom Golisano saw a failing business with potential to turn him a profit. None of them wanted to win.
Now here we sit with a potential owner that wants to win – and the team is ripe for his taking. Sure, you have the whole issue of completing the sale, but the team on the ice is ripe for a new owner. Stale management, complacent players – this team needs to be picked up by the skates and given a good shake.
No one should be considered safe, with few exceptions. Ryan Miller, Tyler Myers, Thomas Vanek (maybe?) and lately I have been inclined to keep Tyler Ennis on the safe list just because that kid has more heart than he does body. Everyone else on the roster should be playing their brains out because one of two things is going to happen. The Sabres are going to resign you if they think you can contribute to a winning hockey club or they are going to let you walk or trade you in an effort to get the right pieces.
The management group has not been frugal with money since the lockout, spending almost near the cap every year, but they have spent money in the wrong areas. With the respect they have garnished over the past thirteen years, I have no doubt that Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier would have jobs in the NHL not long after being let go by the Buffalo Sabres – if new owners decided it would be a good idea to start with fresh faces. We will never really know if Darcy wanted to do more but his hands were tied by management.
The team is about as reliable as a rock right now; and I am not talking about a rock in terms of Christianity where Jesus built his church upon the rock of St. Peter, no I am talking about your boring, sinks really fast when thrown in water type rocks.
Have you looked at the standings lately? When If the Buffalo Sabres lose to the Edmonton Oilers tonight, there will be only three teams worse than them in the league, the Toronto Maple Leafs, The New York Islanders, and the New Jersey Devils - and all three have games in hand on the Sabres (Toronto the only team that could surpass Buffalo by using their games at hand wisely).
Don’t be surprised to see Patrick Lalime in net tonight against the Edmonton Oilers. Even though he has a Silver Medal, a Vezina Trophy, and is considered one of the top goaltenders in the league – some time on the bench might help Ryan Miller get his mind right, because he does not have the same zen like focus that he showed last year. It’s going to be a long season – but not as long as it could be, this team will not be making the playoffs.