Look back into the past and all of Buffalo was full of joy with new owner Terry Pegula in charge. Fans in this city were as amped up as I've seen in regards to the Sabres. Fast forward one year and my oh my how things have changed. Pegula and his management are under huge fire in Buffalo. Fans in this city are calling the new ownership team liars, greedy, and uninformed. These are terrible accusations and a terrible way for fans to look at their teams ownership group. How could you argue with the evidence the fans have?
Over the past week I have heard Sabres Owner, President, and GM all be interviewed and throw the same garbage at fans. They attacked the media in Buffalo for being too hard on the team (second time in 11 months) with constant negativity. They hide behind the injuries, which yes has been a factor. However all the forwards except Ennis have returned and only Vanek and Pominville can score. They continue to throw support behind a core of players that have lead the Sabres to 0 playoff series wins in 5 years. They continue to throw support behind a coach and GM that have got this team nothing in 14 years! Grow up boys, criticism is part of the job. Fighting with fans and media is only going to make it worse. As the season goes on Pegula will start to see ticket sales drop and the FN Center start to have a lot of open seats. Season ticket renewal will not be 99% this off season. This management team seems to be full of excuses and complaining and their hockey club acts the same way. I have never heard a coach whine and complain the way Ruff does. If it's not the Lucic hit, it's not getting penalty calls, it's about Kaleta being a target by the officials. Every game all he does is give excuses and complain, getting old fast.
Darcy Regier was given an off season with "no restrictions" and he failed miserably! He has crippled the franchise for years with the Leino and Ehrhoff contract. The team is now stuck in cap jail and relief is not coming anytime soon. He over values his players and is almost impossible to make a trade with (see Brian Burke's comments). I don't want him rebuilding this team. He has already left enough of a bad mark on this team. The sooner he is out the better.
Ruff continues to kill young offensive players, mismanage his goaltending, and be awful at bringing together new players. He has failed to put Leino in a spot to succeed. He has killed the growth of Luke Adam, he was a first line center and off to an excellent start to the season. Ruff then made a knee jerk reaction pulled him off the first line. Since then Adam has 2 goals in two months and he had only 6 minutes of ice time last night. Way to grow a young prospect with great potential. I don't want Ruff anywhere near the growth of Kassian or Foligno.
Fans hoping for a change however will not get it. Pegula and management are content with Regier and Ruff, they will not make the hard decisions, they will not force any change with this team. They will hide behind the injuries in the off season and give Ruff and Regier another year. They continue to maintain they are on track of their "3 year plan". I have to highly disagree, any person with hockey knowledge knows this team is at least 5 years minimum from competing big time.
I guess you have to go through hockey hell in order to reach hockey heaven.
Check out the Pegula interview on WGR Sports Radio 550 here: http://wgr550.com/pages/11994135.php?contentType=4&contentId=9768167
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