Listening to today’s press conference where the Buffalo Sabres current owners of Tom Golisano and Larry Quinn brought some interesting insight into why they sold the team was very interesting.
The initial part of the conversation was nothing more than a chest thumping session, where Tom Golisano outlined all of the accomplishments that him, Larry Quinn, and the Buffalo Sabres had accomplished over their “reign” or “tenure”.
I think that they did this to take a lot of the questions away from the press, of what was accomplished during the time that they owned the team.
You knew the topic of Danny Briere and Chris Drury was going to come up, and the decision to make them leave. They gave the same answers that they, the press, have been given since the summer of 2007. Value decisions were made on keeping this team as viable of a contender as possible. What floored me was that a decision was made to keep Roy and Vanek on this team over Danny Briere and Chris Drury. Sitting at work, I actually laughed out loud and yelled, you have got to be kidding me!
I knew they were not going to implicate the person who allowed that decision to be made, because they are still owners of the team until the league approves the sale – so it didn’t surprise me that someone wasn’t thrown under the bus on that comment/question.
Tom Golisano made it very clear that the mentality of this organization was geared at at least breaking even – he used those exact words on when he described the direction he gave to Darcy Regier, or making a profit. He wasn’t interested in winning a Stanley Cup. He wasn’t interested in having to lose players like the Chicago Blackhawks did after they stocked their roster to win a Stanley Cup. I am sure that every fan in the Buffalo Sabres Fan Nation would give up four or five players if it meant that they left on the heels of a Stanley Cup team.
Hopefully Terry Pegula doesn’t just want to break even – and he has said that he is interested in winning – which is what the mentality this team needs.
The Press continued to pepper the panel of owners about hockey decisions hoping for an implication or an explanation beyond what has been defended over the past three or four years – and nothing changed in that regards, so I was a little disappointed by not having answers being handed out, but at the same time I am not surprised.
No real effort was made over the past seven years to earnestly win the Stanley Cup. Hopefully starting next season that mentality is changed, and hockey decisions are made over financial decisions. I don’t want to see the team in the red constantly – because then the team will be in trouble; but I wouldn’t mind seeing them throw a little caution in the wind to win if necessary.
It is interesting to note that there is a list available – its been discussed and has to be on a hard copy somewhere – of players that this team will not move before the ownership changeover takes place. Larry Quinn said the list is a short list, but it would be noteworthy to know what or who, is on that list.
I am sure we will get more information from Terry Pegula on his comments on the team and the direction he wants to take when he is full owner of the team and he can actually speak to that, he will remain tight lipped until the league blesses off on his purchase.