So the new third jersey for the Buffalo Sabres isn’t what many of us thought it should be, eh?
Hey – I don’t mean that in a bad way. I think the jersey deserves all of the negativity that is being tossed its way, and then some. It’s almost like different parts of the jersey were assigned to different artists – “Here! You design the armpit!” – and the individual creations were fused together, Victor Frankenstein-style, into the monstrosity that was unveiled yesterday.
So yeah, I don’t like the jersey. But in and of itself, the third jersey is not enough to occupy my time.
The fact that this is another epic fail on the part of the Buffalo Sabres organization, however, IS worth my time And your time. And the time of every Buffalo Sabres fan fretting over whether it’s okay to dislike the jersey (because Buffalo Sabres fans always expect the worst, so we’re only disappointed in the jersey because, well, we’re always disappointed).
Think about this: what has the Buffalo Sabres franchise done “right,” lately? (I placed quotation marks around the word because I understand it is a highly subjective concept. There is no true right and wrong, so for this post, “right” really equals = “supported by an overwhelming majority of the fanbase.”) I will concede that they have so far proven my gut instincts about the 2013 NHL Entry Draft wrong – I’m man enough to do that. But from the draft on, this team has done nothing to improve a team that looked pretty bad on both ends of the ice last season. As a matter of fact, there is a good chance that this year’s team could be worse than last year’s squad, which I guess appeals to those fans who want to land a high draft pick next year, but not to those of us who watch this team because we want to see the team be competitive night in and night out. I don’t pay money for “what might be,” I pay money for “what is, now.” And it’s not just me – you can’t find too many members of the media who feel the “sit on our hands and wait” approach is really what this team should be doing – yet here we are.
Let’s go back a little bit more: this past February, the Sabres let go of long-time coach Lindy Ruff for his failure to get results on the ice . . . yet, to the amazement of pretty much anyone who follows the sport of hockey, the Sabres continue to trust in General Manager Darcy Regier, who has failed to create teams who get results on the ice. Regier inherited arguably the greatest goaltender to ever lace his skates in the NHL, and he failed to build a team that could return to the Stanley Cup Finals following its heart-breaking loss in 1999. Not only that, but upper management continues to testily ask reporters, “What has Regier done wrong?” when the obvious answer is that he has not done much right.
Digging even deeper into history, we can find the Sabres offering bajillions (it’s a real number!) of dollars to players such as Tyler Myers and Ville Leino . . . probably an after-effect of allowing both Chris Drury and Danny Briere to leave town in 2007 . . . only to get absolutely laughable results. Yet both players are still on the Sabres’ roster. (I’m inclined to give Tyler Myers another season – he’s still young, so he has some benefit of the doubt left.) As is Drew Stafford, who Buffalo is probably stuck with because no one in the NHL would touch him after his no-show of a season in 2012-2013.