Time for Terry to pull the Trigger!
Enough's enough already! It's time for Terry Pegula and team president Ted Black to pull the trigger. Something needs to be done and done immediately!
The Sabres lost their 11th straight road game, 4-1 to Winnipeg Thursday night. The way the Sabres are playing, they'd lose every game if they were in the AHL. The team is listless, the players are not earning their multi-million contracts.
Pegula made it too nice, too comfy for the players. He spent tens of millions in redoing the locker room into a state of the art haven and lounge for these fat cats. He also spent up to the cap to make sure he had the best team money could buy. The only problem is that money can't fix this problem. It's all attitude and the attitude on this team reeks.
From the GM to the coach to the players, it's time to take a wrecking ball to this franchise and reconstruct it. The Ottawa Senators set the proper path for the Sabres last year when they did exactly that. New coach and over half the team gone, they are now one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
Pegula is a nice guy. He didn't want to fire Regier or Ruff when he came in. He wanted to give them a chance and signed them both to long term deals. Now it's time to break those deals and get some people in here that can bring in players with the right attitude. That attitude is to play for the Crest on the sweater...to go through walls for the organization, to earn their pay check. The Sabres need players who care, who are willing to put their body on the line, night in and night out, to help win games. Right now there isn't one player willing to do that.
Last June I posted that the Sabres should make Rick Dudley their new GM because the time was overly ripe to get rid of their current slug of a GM Darcy Regier. The Leafs saw the value of Dudley and added him to their front office. Dudley has been a success at GM with several NHL teams.
Regier's first act was to offer the Jack Adams Trophy winner Ted Nolan a "slap-in-the face" 1 year contract offer, which was quickly turned down by Nolan. Nolan considered it the start of the negotiations, however, it was actually a ploy by Regier to bring in his own man, Lindy Ruff. Now, 15 years later and still joined at the hip, Regier and Ruff are still inseparable and are taking the Sabres in the wrong direction.
All Regier's offseason moves this summer, with blank checks being given to him by new owner Terry Pegula, have not panned out. What's the big surprise? Most of Regier's trades at the deadline throughout his stay in Buffalo have been busts. He cannot evaluate pro talent. Not only that, but it is rumored that other GM's won't talk to him anymore as he always wants something for nothing.
Pegula has proven that he's a great guy. He tries to keep all his employees happy and is very hesitant to let them go. It's time for Pegula to make a very hard business decision and do just that. Regier has overstayed his welcome for 15 years.
Locker room is Limbo of the Lost
The goal of Pegula was to make Buffalo a Hockey Heaven. He spent millions on the locker room and the results are embarrassing. Like Mike Robitaille said on his radio show, he's been looking for a boss like Terry Pegula all his life. He cannot believe that the current Sabres don't "go through the wall for this guy." Instead, they are doing just the opposite. They are a performing as if they don't care, as if they want to get their coach, Lindy Ruff, fired.
If Pegula had known that spending all that money on the Sabres would only make them worse, maybe he wouldn't have bought the team after all. Certainly, he wouldn't have invested so much in players that wouldn't pull their own weight (or salary).
Brad Boyes is a perfect example of highway robbery to the nth degree. The Sabres traded for Boyes at the trading deadline hoping that they could get him back on track to the 40 goal seasons he had with the Blues. Instead, they got another loafer who can't score, who won't check and is a complete waste of money at $4,000,000 a year.
Drew Stafford is yet another soft Sabre who signed a new contract for $4 mil after last season. He had over 30 goals last year, but has disappeared after signing that huge new contract.
One of the biggest Highway Robbers is Ville Leino. The Sabres signed Leino as a free agent and he's getting $6 million this year. This is a complete waste of money that could be spent elsewhere. Leino can't score, can't hit and seems lost out on the ice...much like the rest of his teammates.
Rounding out the Big Four of robbers on the Sabres is Jochen Hecht, who is making $3,525,000 this season.
I could name most of the other Sabres here, including Ryan Miller, who is having his worst season as a pro.
The Sabres are sinking fast and it is apparent to everyone except owner Pegula that the team is losing to get Ruff fired. Pegula is the last of a dying breed...a good guy in sports. He was too nice to replace Regier as GM when he took over the team last spring. Now he's paying for that mistake as this team of non-achievers is making him look like a fool for buying oceanfront property in Arizona. A new GM would have been the answer to all these years of frustration and bad decisions in the front office. A new GM would have hired a new coach and would have gotten rid of these slugs who don't want to work hard for their contracts.
Sabres need Firesale Ottawa Style
It's time for the firesale. Ottawa showed the way last year that blowing up the team can work. Now the Senators are one of the hottest teams in the league, surprising the experts who said it would take years for them to get back to their old level again.
The Sabres must follow that same road if they want to achieve the stated goal by Pegula. Pegula promised the Stanley Cup in no more than 3 years. The way this product is performing, it could take 3 decades if he stands pat.
Immediate changes are crucial for this team to get back on track. Making the playoffs this year looks like Mission Impossible. They have dug a hole too deep to climb out of. Last year, they were in a similar position, but somehow were able to turn it around. Now, with the current attitude on the team along with the injuries, it just isn't going to happen. Blow up the team and start trading for prospects. Dump the weight of these nonproductive contracts overboard so that the ship can get back on course.
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