This will be quick and as noncreative as possible.
I just witnessed the Islanders kicking the shit out of the Buffalo Sabres. I'm sure some of you did as well. I thought the Winnipeg game was bad, but this was like comparing the Seahawks game to the Jets season opener from this past Bills season...or...it was like comparing Water World to Howard the Duck....or...It was like comparing Gettysburg to the Battle of the bulge. "Can the Sabres top that moment of futility on a weekly basis?" is where we are at now.
After a week in which we eulogized Lindy Ruff as being Michael Corleone stepping down from the family, I think we have to look at the entire Sabres family and realize one thing: They all need to go.
NO ONE IS UNTOUCHABLE.
Not Miller. Not Vanek. Not Grigomania. No one. The entire team is a junkyard fire, tire fire, forest fire, grease fire and 7 Hells fire all in one. It is over. I wrote back in December that the Bills needed to lose out in order to fire Chan Gailey. I'm doing the same thing now with the Sabres. The worst thing that happened to this team was two years ago when they went on their run to 7th and almost beat Philly in the playoffs. We overrated it (Like we do with all of our teams) because we were whisked away in Pegula Power. It was a fluke. An anomaly.
Of course, when you are Darcy Regier, you treat anomalies as facts. That year made everyone think we were better than we were. They extended everyone. They threw money at guys who didn't deserve it (Myers, Gerbe, McCormick and Stafford). Yes, I was one of those douche bags who fell for it. But in hindsight, it screwed this team. If they continued to play poorly and we didn't get so wrapped up in Pegulamania, they would have fired everyone or at least not been so quick to re-sign everyone and their mother. They would have changed more of their guys, I have no doubts.
That's why they need to bottom out this year. No heroic runs. No trading for Brad Boyes. None of that. Sell, Darcy, sell...and then sell Darcy off to the Indians.
As I wrote on Facebook today, Darcy Regier is worse at being a GM than Lindy is at being a coach. I can easily say I may have firing remorse when it comes to Lindy down the road. But there is no way in hell I'd say that about Darcy. He's the fricken antichrist of NHL GMs. This team is terrible and anyone who had visions of them turning it around after Lindy's dismissal must not have a roster page up on their computer. This is not LA or Pittsburgh talent, folks. Scotty Bowman couldn't coach up this overrated squad that Darcy Regier shitted out of his X-Box.
He needs to be let go. Oh, and about that extension? How about we give him some new stupid title as Executive of Player development or Development of nachos & cheese. He needs to be stripped of his powers ASAP. I don't want to glorify him for getting a 1st round pick for Goose or give him a parade because he traded Kassian for Hodgson. Enough. Let's broaden our horizons a bit in this town, please?
You are what your record says you are. It is over. Finished. I don't want to hear someone try and talk me off the edge. If I was on Twitter right now (Gave it up for Lent), I'd block everyone who said Darcy should be given more time or that The Amerks resemble the 1980 USA Olympic team. If you can't get on the "Fire Darcy" bandwagon after this week, then you need to be drug tested.
This is an embarrassment. 65-million dollars down the drain. With that..this piece of diatribe has ended.
Go Sabres and fire everyone!
Hindsight being 20/20 as it is, I map it all the way back to the summer of 2006 with four players in particular:
JP Dumont was better than his 40 regular season points. Especially since he got that many in 54 games that year. He was what everybody clambors about with Shane Doan and Bobby Ryan: a big, tough forward who can score. Granted, Dumont didn't fight that often and his defense was questionable, but he was strong against the boards and scored *HUGE* goals (14 points in 18 playoff games, including GTG, GWG, and OT winners). They let him walk and he went to Nashville for 4 years, $16 million (sound familiar?).
They had Kotalik immediately take his place, and Stafford ended up there for 2006-2007 (but you can't count that because it was Stafford's unexpected call-up year). So let's focus on Kotalik. Looked good on paper, had the points, had the shot, had the shootout move. You could say they went with the younger Kotalik, right? Nope. They're both 34. They're both also out of the league at this point. But the difference is Dumont went to be a leader and top point producer in Nashville, while Kotalik scored "Miro Goals" and got traded from here. So there's the first failure of "this guy or that guy".
The second one was letting McKee walk. Oh, I hear it often that St. Louis poached him for $4 million and that the Sabres shouldn't have tried to match that. Bullshit. They paid Spacek $3 million and fell for the "Jaro Spacek is worth it" trap. He wasn't worth it. He was smoother, had a better shot, and was faster. But McKee was like a second goalie. He was everything Sabres fans missed for a good 4 or 5 seasons until they brought in Weber/Regerh...a shut-down guy that would sacrifice his body for the play. Now I don't know if they could've re-signed McKee for that $3 mil they gave Spacek, but maybe they could've enticed him by saying "finish your career here, sign an NTC, and the jersey goes up in the rafters". But there's your second "this guy or that guy" failure.
On paper you might be saying those don't mean much. But take a look at Drury/Briere. They look behind them and see Spacek instead of McKee. They look to their right and see Kotalik instead of Dumont. You can't say that didn't influence their decisions to go elsewhere. Mike Grier was quoted in 2006 as saying he "didn't like where the franchise was headed". Yeah. Looking at it in hindsight, neither do I.
This entire post/rant is right on the money. Nothing in Buffalo changes until the team and fans get over the "no goal" cup run. This team is horrible and there are too many guys that can't contribute.
Nothing changes until Mr. Pegula pulls the big trigger (before the draft) and removes Darcy next. There have been no Blockbuster trades under his leadership. Only a dearth of exits of players that would be more helpful now. The money is not the issue with Darcy, it's his unwillingness to address the problems of this team with earnest.
I am so with you on this position. Darcy should have been gone first with a new GM allowed to make the right moves to improve this team. Bad as it sounds, Burke would have been better and I can't stand him.
We all pretty much concluded that 'the core' was rotten 2 years ago. We gutted half of it, then expected the zombie core to be a winner? But I think (hope) that the quick hire of Rolston means that if the season continues to tank, Regier will be fired and a new GM will gut the whole team and choose a new new coach.
@dansterlace Good stuff, Dan. You should be a blogger. But all your points are correct. Go back to Toni/Hank vs. Jordan/Morrisonn. How stupid were those trade outs? Maybe they should have dumped someone else's salary on the club. When he's faced the choose one or the other debate, he fails. We glorify anything the guy does because we want to believe in the Sabres. How can you? He had 65-million bucks invested in this team and they are in last place! They have been in last place three times well into the season three straight years. Enough.
And before anybody says "Drury and Briere didn't decide to go elsewhere, yargle bargle" I'm saying that it might have had an effect on their outlook. I'm not saying Briere would turn down $3 mil a year to stay with Buffalo. We don't know what kind of effect having those two teammates instead of Spacek/Kotalik would've had. Maybe something, maybe nothing. But teammate influence is what I call a real intangible.
@HeathAnderson My grumpiness above aside (pre-coffee, but that's no excuse) you are dead on the money.
@HeathAnderson yeah, the Sabres gave DR enough time with this new regime. Time to move on. Darcy's problems stem from him falling in love with his own players and fans wanting to believe that all these young guys from Rochester are the future. History says DR's development of players has been inconsistent. Turn the page.
@Luke91 You hit the nail on the head. Just bomb out so we can get a new GM who isn't blinded by his love for his own players. They Sabres need to sell in order clear cap. Get prospects and then reload in the offseason. It is crazy that when you put together their last three years, you have almost like 1.5 seasons worth of God awful hockey. Enough with the inconsistent to poor play.
@rapid_roman61 was that from a movie?
@JoeBuffalowins Darcy trades well. It's free agency vs extensions that he botches time and time again. Part of the issue is that he lets guys walk without getting _anything_ for them, to your point about "just sell, don't be wishy washy". He's about to do it with Leopold too, whereas he could've dealt him this past offseason for a king's ransom.
@dansterlace $3 million??? He was offered $5 million and accepted $18 over two years.
@dansterlace I think he trades well in comparison to his shitty FA signings/extensions. But overall, he has some bad trades, especially over the last five years.
Craig Rivet, Torres, and Boyes trades were disasters. Sure, he has the Briere/Drury deals from 10 years ago to fall back on, but that's 10 years ago! It seems like whenever he makes a deal, he gets way toooooo much credit for making a trade and then we tend to forget that the trade didn't change the team like we hoped they would.
His wheeling and dealing prowess has cooled off over the last 5 years. I guess you can give the Kassian/Hodgson deal to him and verdict is still out on Ott/Roy. Just because 9/10 sabres fans wanted to piss on Roy, doesn't make it a great deal. He waited too long to trade him.
@dansterlace I'm a Mike Peca kidda guy. I loved it when he broke the cheek bone of Selanne. I would love to have a physical team that doesn't get pushed around. I agree with the Dumont and McKee choices, but I wish they had dumped Afiniginov (what ever) sooner than they did.
It has been so many years since they were consistently a good team. It is very frustrating to have them not have the financial limitations anymore and still keep the same old crew.
@HeathAnderson No prob. Do you have any particular this guy/that guy from over the years? I specifically am curious about who you would have rather let go and kept, not so much "they should've gone out and got this guy". So, for example, I stick with wishing they'd kept Dumont, traded or released Kotalik. And I wish they'd have extended McKee and not bothered with Spacek.
Anybody jump out at you?
@dansterlace Fair enough, no need to jump on me. I'm not a troll. Just want to discuss the Sabres, as miserable as that is.
@HeathAnderson Scroll up a bit. Since one cannot edit comments, I replied to my own comment wherein there is a diatribe about Dumont/McKee before somebody jumped down my throat and said how signing Dumont/McKee instead of keeping Kotalik and signing Spacek would've had an effect on Drury/Briere. The fact that the preemptive defusing is actually what got misunderstood is kind of funny.
@dansterlace Ok so let me get this right, when you said "I'm not saying Briere would turn down $3 mil a year to stay with Buffalo," you were talking about Dumont/McKee?? How is anyone expected to get that? You don't even mention them in your post.
And for the record, I was pointing out how far out of line the offer to Briere was and not calling you out. But feel free to be a DB if you feel the need. Forgive me for posting my opinion, I was confused thinking it was an open post and not your domain.
I love how not being able to write your thoughts coherently is my fault. Grow up. (everyone is 10ft tall behind the keyboard)
@HeathAnderson Oh hey look, it's that guy! Hi that guy! We were all wondering when you'd show up. Gee, I'm sure glad that guy was able to come around and zero in on exactly what I wrote off the next sentence. Did I type "$3 million" when I meant "$5"? Maybe. Not that it matters because I wasn't *talking* about Briere, I was *talking* about Dumont/McKee and how the face and identity of this team changed before the President's Trophy season.
I'm really glad that guy passed by to shoot down a hypothetical situation where numbers that never existed didn't happen and completely ignore anything that even remotely fucking resembles a point. You've made my day!
My favorite part is how everything I typed had to do with keeping Dumont over Kotalik, and keeping McKee over Spacek. In fact, my entire point was that their presence on the team might have had some sort of sway on one or both of the dual captains that left. But it's fantastic to see that apparently Bucky Gleason has a LiveFyre account and he goes by HeathAnderson. Good to know. Have a great day.
@rapid_roman61 ah. Thanks.