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Does It Have To Be Ron Rolston?

It’s almost too easy to figure out what’s going on in the head of general manager Darcy Regier, and the other cronies that run things in Buffalo and Rochester.

Why?  You only have to listen to the press conference to wrap up the regular season when Buffalo News Reporter Jerry Sullivan starting asking questions to Team President Ted Black.  When Black inferred that Jerry had already written his article for tomorrow, Jerry responded with ” its not too hard to figure out what the answers are going to be after the same responses year in and year out.”  So the question is – why does it have to be Ron Rolston?

Darcy is lazy.  It’s amazing he still has a job.  He only trades around deadline day because he has to – and because other general managers call him.  He’s actually very lucky they still call him, given the way he overvalues his players – and the fact that he has committed grand larceny in getting first round picks and steal of trades once in awhile.  The fact that there is no urgency or activity in recruiting a new coach to head the Buffalo Sabres in their tumulus rebuild scares the hell out of me, because it means that more than likely we will end up with Ron Rolston coaching the Buffalo Sabres and Chadd Cassidy coaching the Rochester Americans.  I ask again, does it have to be Ron Rolston?

There are already several former National Hockey League players out there without coaching gigs.  Garth from Hockey Buzz in the above mentioned link mentions Patrick Roy.  I would love to have a guy with that type of fire behind the bench.  And Roy knows what it takes to win a Stanley Cup.  He won four of them, two with the Montreal Canadiens, and another two with the Colorado Avalanche.  Roy knows what it takes to coach winners.  He took the Quebec Ramparts to the Memorial Cup in 2006.  He has the superstitions to be a successful NHL coach.  While playing he never let his skates touch the red and blue lines, always stepping over them.  Phil Housley isn’t coaching in the National Hockey League.  Housley never won a Stanley Cup – but he played almost 1500 games in the National Hockey League, and is further engrained in USA Hockey than Rolston every achieved.

Phil also has roots in Buffalo – being drafted in the first round of the 1982 draft by the Buffalo Sabres.  We seem to love coaches and players with that kind of history.  Assistant coaches James Patrick, Teppo Numminem, and Kevyn Adams all have roots with the organization.  Joe Nieuwendyk was just let go as general manager of the Dallas Stars.  Nieuwendyk has won a Stanley Cup as well, defeating the Buffalo Sabres in the 1999 finals.  If he doesn’t want to get back into a front office gig right away, maybe a bench boss spot might be good for the former player.

The fact that he was a GM previously will probably scare Darcy away from that, just for the fact he has to know that his contract isn’t getting extended again without significant progress.  Maybe he is going with the safe choices for the team instead of the risky business to try and keep his job.  Maybe the organization needs to get him a phone that he can make outbound phone calls on. Next year’s head coach doesn’t have to be Ron Rolston.  In fact, despite the job he did this year, he shouldn’t be the head coach next year.

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