Nov 2, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Matt Moulson (26) tries to knock down the puck during the second period against the Anaheim Ducks at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Good Grief, Ron!


September 27, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston looks on during the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Center. The Hurricanes defeated the Sabres 1-0. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Good news, Sabre Noise readers: I have figured out the Buffalo Sabres organization.

Seriously: while all of you are at home, trying to figure out what in the hell Terry Pegula, Ted Black, Darcy Regier and especially Ron Rolston are actually trying to accomplish, I have cracked the code and solved the mystery.

And the answer has been right in front of our noes the entire time: reality television.

Before you dismiss this as just the ravings of a lunatic, or a sarcastic dig at the team, remember – I’m doing my best to maintain a positive outlook this season.  I have enjoyed watching some of the younger players take baby steps toward becoming bona fide NHL players, and the games against San Jose and Los Angeles last week were truly exciting contests to watch.  Heck, I just published a piece that chastised a few Buffalo writers for perpetuating the “Woe are we” mentality that defines the “suffering” fanbase, so why would I want to start being negative now?

Exactly – I wouldn’t.  Which must mean I am actually being serious here: the Buffalo Sabres are secretly filming this season with the hopes of marketing it as a reality TV series, a la HBO’s Hard Knocks.

Come on – this has to be the reason why this franchise APPEARS to be such a mess right now.  No team is really this clueless, right?  So this is all an elaborate plan, because drama sells, big time.

We need look no further than the Sabres’ last game to see proof of my theory.  Sure, Buffalo was being pasted by the Anaheim Ducks for the second time in

a week, and yes, the coaching staff COULD have accepted the blame for not effectively game-planning for an Anaheim team that had already showed Buffalo what to expect.  But blaming the coaching staff, specifically head coach Ron Rolston, is too easy, too boring, too un-sexy, for television. So who winds up getting the blame for the embarrassing loss, in the form of being benched during the third period?  The Sabres’ starting line of forwards: Cody Hodgson, Tyler Ennis, and Matt Moulson.

Wait – Rolston benched Matt Moulson, the player who just joined Buffalo as a result of the Thomas Vanek trade?  The guy who has scored 30+ goals in three consecutive seasons?  The dude who will turn a UFA at the end of the season, and who many fans would love to sign sign a long-term contract with the Sabres, a team that has problems, you know, scoring?


Yes . . . and calm down, Mister All-Caps.  It’s all for show.  It’s called creating conflict, and building tension, and it’s great for TV.

Sucky for, you know, hockey.  But great for TV.

I mean, that has to be what’s going on here – correct?  Because if you have a shred – and I mean, a tiny, Mozzarella-cheese-sized shred – of intelligence, you do not bench the guy who has played all of six games for you.  Six games, six points in those games, and lots of energy and hustle = benched, in a blowout loss against arguably the best team in the NHL?

Not unless you have a juicy contract from HBO or Showtime sitting on the table.  Certainly not if you want to retain Moulson’s services, or keep your own job as the head coach of an NHL team.

By now you’e asking yourself, how did I, an idiot blogger, gather all of the evidence and solve this mystery before the better-paid, better-dressed, and better-looking members of the professional sports media?  Simple: I asked myself this question: “Is Ron Rolston REALLY that dumb?”

Then, when I was absolutely convinced that no one on the planet is actually dumb enough to punish a player who clearly is NOT the reason why the franchise is incapable of playing NHL-quality hockey, I asked another question: “Well, if he isn’t that dumb, then there MUST be a good reason why he benched Moulson, right?”

And here we are.

This should come as a relief to all fans of the Buffalo Sabres, as it proves once and for all that the organization does, indeed, have a vision.  Sadly, it comes at the price of good hockey, but hey!  It makes for good entertainment.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Matt Moulson Ron Rolston

  • Caitlin Campbell

    HAHA this was priceless Rich! We have to be getting punked or something, maybe with the money from their reality show they can bring in some good players in the future.

    • Richard Spalding

      It’s the only explanation my brain can come up with, and Lord knows I have been thinking about this for a long, long time!

      • Kevin

        Haha Rich Just like CC said I would pay to see that.

  • Kevin

    The only person he should have sat on that line was Ennis IMO. As for your producing career, I think RR would make the most boring coach segment interview. Your really thinking to hard Rich! LOL

    • Richard Spalding

      But just imagine if they use a split screen to show the players doing their best Rolston impersonations side-by-side with his soundbites. Classic comedy and more drama when he finds out about it! Sparks will fly! :)

      • Caitlin Campbell

        Oh my goodness I would pay to see them impersonate Rolston! Grigorenko would be priceless. Rich Sell this show already!

  • dave

    On a serious note I think Ron has run out of ideas already and he is a coach that won’t question Darcy that’s why he has the job behind the bench hello Ron wake uo your just a puppet coach until they figure out what kind of team they want

    • Richard Spalding

      As long as he is collecting a paycheck, will he care?!? We’re doomed.

      • Kevin

        true, but at least we are not included in the same sentence with the other two bottom teams as having coaching disasters. At least we do have stability there whether we like what he does or doesn’t do. Sometimes he is a dear in the headlights, and boring, and then I feel sorry for him with the team he has to work with.

  • davidmuscalo

    I have another explanation for the benching of the top line. I goes something like this: We are losing a game and there is zero to no chance of winning the game. The top line doesn’t need experience, so why not rest them and let the inexperience players get some ice time. After all, this is rebuilding year and the season is was over before it began. If we are to have a competitive team next year, the youngsters need as much ice time this year as they can possibly get.

    How’s that for a positive spin?

    • Richard Spalding

      You’re good! I’m sure Matt Moulson would appreciate that! :D

  • qwicwted

    Maybe you are right because I just don’t get it. I don’t even see how Rolston is still coaching the Sabres, move him into scouting or something, but Darcy needs to address this issue and address it fast. Maybe he is waiting for one of the other low standing teams to fire their coach or maybe he really wants the Sabres tanking the rest of the season so that we get a high draft pick. Who knows.
    I think what happened is that Rolston decided to bench the first line and just forgot about the time – he forgot that they even existed.

    • Richard Spalding

      The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that I have stumbled upon the truth. Because if not . . . (shudders) it’s too terrible to think about!

      • Vic Soga

        Richard, you should switch to decaf. Maybe you and Rolston can party with Toronto’s Rob Ford and you can come up with a more logical explanation.

        • Richard Spalding

          Don’t make Mr. All-Caps come back, Vic!!!! lol

  • Dano

    Rich.. I know you meant this as a sort of satyr.. but the possibility of there being some truth to what you have written might actually be underlying somewhere below the surface.

    Rolston looks like a geek engineer from the 50′s. He just needs a pocket protector and a slide rule to make the final image.

    • wolfdoctor

      Hey, I was an engineer and used pocket protectors. I resemble that remark.

      • Dano

        Well.. see if they are hiring! Might be a way to get Rolston out from behind the bench and to a place where he might actually be able to do some good ;)

  • tim

    I now finally get it, when Terry Pegula bought the team he actually cried at the press conference, 3 years later everytime I watch them play I also cry.

  • tim

    What a freakin clown, last week he sit Zadorov, who arguably has been our best defenseman in most games, to give him “perspective”. Then he sits our top line and says they need “heaviness” and goes on to compare Hodgson lack of production to Getzlaf, maybe if he was playing with Perry and Penner, and oh by the way had the skill level and size of Getzlaf he’d be on par with him! Get a f-ing clue Ron, please just resign no one will be angry if you quit on us. On a side not Terry wake up, the season started 5 weeks ago.

  • Doug Wilson

    I am as completely dumbfounded on Moulson’s benching as everyone else. I have already questioned a lot of Rolston’s decisions, but this one is bizarre. Here’s a guy (Moulson) who is the mold for the perfect model. All he does is score goals, works hard, scrappy, goes in the corners, good in the shootout, class guy and he gets punished because the other 2 guys on the line get lazy. Like you said, “put him on another line”…don’t bench him! Do you think he’s going to be a role model now?
    I had high hopes that maybe we could give him a nice raise and re-sign him. He’s a late bloomer and only 30. I feel he’s got some good years left. Players like him don’t come along that often. As you said, do you think he wants to stay now?
    Your article may be a joke, but Rolston is the biggest joke. Nobody wants to say it but, as a coach, he’s dumb. I can’t help it, but there is no other logical answer. We just got rid of a coach who had a reputation of alienating players…we don’t need another.
    I must add; the coach I wanted from the very beginning was Patrick Roy who was in the Sabre’s organization. Look at him now in Colorado! Of course they have better players right now, but he’s the kind of coach the Sabres need right now!

  • Joseph Williams

    Rich’s theory is very possible. Another possibility is they’re trying to land the #1 pick next year. Either way, I swear they’re losing games on purpose. The Sabres looked great in the pre-season, it’s a shock to see them performing like this.

  • Pingback: The Buffalo Sabres Drinking Game