It would be reckless for the Buffalo Sabres to make a coaching change right now

While a contingent of Buffalo Sabres fans would like to see a coaching change, it would be a reckless decision if the organization’s brass fired Don Granato.

Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

As the Buffalo Sabres have disappointed its fan base over the first 11 weeks of the 2023-24 season perhaps more than any other time in recent memory, the blame game has taken center stage. You’re seeing fingers pointed at general manager Kevyn Adams for “not doing enough” during the offseason. Others are pointing at head coach Don Granato and openly wondering why he still has one of 32 head coaching jobs. 

There is a good reason Granato is still in the City of Good Neighbors, and there is an even greater reason he should remain head coach for the foreseeable future. For one, constant coaching turnover every two-to-three seasons has done nothing but guarantee a lack of organizational stability and, by extension, an NHL-record playoff drought. 

For another, it’s not like the Sabres have been completely healthy at any point this season, and that has taken a toll on team chemistry. Jack Quinn just returned, and yesterday, we saw Jeff Skinner and Jordan Greenway in the lineup at practice, so the Blue and Gold are finally healthier now than they have been all season. 

Buffalo Sabres need to be patient and avoid making a reckless decision

Very few NHL head coaches would have done an even remotely solid job with the situation the Sabres have found themselves in this year. Leading scorers Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch, and Jeff Skinner all missed time and have barely seen the ice together, so that alone will set the team back. 

Jack Quinn, who should have made a leap in production with JJ Peterka, made his season debut on Tuesday and he was an integral part of the team last year. Jordan Greenway has been banged up multiple times, and as a result of these injuries, the Sabres have had to recall prospects from Rochester just to field something that resembles an NHL-caliber lineup. 

This has forced Granato to try and make the best out of an awful situation, and it finally looks like it’s resolving itself if the lineups in yesterday’s practice serve as an indicator. Sure, it’s an awful case of fools gold as their record and points total speak for themselves, but the number of injuries and resulting lack of chemistry haven’t done the team many favors. 

So before we collectively seek to fire a coach who until this season, has steadily improved the Blue and Gold, let’s see what happens if they stay healthy for a significant span. If they stay healthy for the rest of the year and we get the same results, then okay, feel free to explore a potential change. But at the moment, making a change without considering all the variables of why the team is in this situation to begin with is just reckless.