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Die Hard

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  1. Yes, that’s a possibility. But if I’m interviewing MY GUY, and he needs time to think about it or convince himself to take the job - or weighing it against another job — then he NEVER should have been my guy. Quenneville outright said NO. Perfect! Thank you! They reached out to gauge interest BEFORE they fired Housley. Why didn’t they do that for McLellan (he was unemployed too!)? At this point, it shouldn’t be a matter if he’s interested or not. It should just be a matter of putting pen to paper. If reporters are to be believed.... it’s almost as if Botterill has begun his coaching search on Tuesday after firing Housley. That would be absolutely ridiculous, if so.
  2. They’re not my expectations. I’ve been a sports fan (virtually all professional sports) for nearly 40 years. I just notice patterns 🙂 Let’s not pretend that the pros have it all figured out. Coaches get extensions and then fired the next season. OBJ got a HUGE contract last year... and the team traded him the following year and ate a HUGE penalty. Professionals do stupid crap and make mistakes all the time. It’s not always sensical and calculated. 🙂
  3. Agreed. However, as I said previously, Botterill has vetted a LOT of candidates by now. Including prior to his first hire. A long delay... and the continued vetting of candidates.... may indicate that Botterill doesn’t know who the hell that friggen guy is! If he knew he was going to relieve Housley since early March.... what the heck has he been doing? How does he not know who his guy IS by now?
  4. If McCellean was his guy.... a decision that should have been made a while ago - for instance, media reports that he had already contacted Quenneville earlier in the year - than that contract should have been offered immediately after Housley was fired. Because the parameters would have already been discussed.... and he should have already known if he was on board. Look, he visited with the Sabres DURING this week right? Even during his son’s tournament. He just needed to put a pen to paper. *If* he was the guy. Botterill could still give him the week off 🙂 Look, I’m not upset. I’m not even a fan of McLellan. However, if McClellan is Botterill’s guy.... this is NOT a good look. However, Botterill is very discreet. So I wouldn’t be so sure that he is....and that it’s more likely he’s waiting for a team to get knocked out. If that’s the case, I’m fine with it all. We’ll find it either way... by his hire. But if he’s ONLY still at a point in his process where he’s vetting candidates..... that’s very disconcerting.
  5. Have you noticed Botterill’s MO to slow play things? Even thought he had extensive knowledge of the team before he arrived.... he decided to waste an entire 1st season to assess the roster. Then despite his door-slamming fit mid-season.... he didn’t make any immediate changes and waited until the off-season. And waited until the last second before getting minimal returns for ROR. And Kane for that matter, at the trade deadline. And despite losing Berglund mid-season and the team needs some infusion into the roster.... stood pat and let the team decline. It was 2 months ago that he was talking about how he was happy with Housley and how the season progressed.... and then he looks like a fool for having to fire him — which I was all onboard with BTW. I dunno.... I’m just not inclined to give Botterill the benefit of the doubt here. Botterill has the Pegula’s money here. He can pay a top salary, offer a good young foundation, and salary cap space. JBots.... just go and get your guy already.
  6. Buffalo was extremely slow in its most recent GM and HC searches (Botterill, Housley). I get that.... both were new and kind of represented an organizational re-structure. But Botterill has already interviewed numerous of candidates before he hired Housley... and by all accounts, he made up his mind to fire Housley after a string of shutout losses in early March. So why wouldn’t he have already been working behind the scenes long ago.... or at worst, had an extremely short-list. To the point where it’s just about dollars/terms. Other teams are able to dump coaches and hire within hours (or the next day). So what the hell is the hang up here? Unless he’s waiting for the playoffs to unfold. That’s the only thing that makes sense. Surely they aren’t setting themselves up for another Babcock unfolding.
  7. What a fascinating perspective!
  8. How many years have we seen where the #1 seed virtually guaranteed you wouldn’t win the cup? The crowd gets into it (home-ice advantage becomes amplified), the refs put the whistles away (tighter checking), less PP opportunities, odd fortuitous bounces (posts) or brilliant saves, teams develop familiarity (only focus on the tendencies of one opponent), develop different approaches/strategies. It’s a whole new ball game!!!
  9. That’s playoff hockey though. It’s just a completely different game..... it makes the regular reason almost a waste to follow. It’s unlike any other sport. Goalies get hot, unsung heroes emerge, injuries to star players happen, players play through injuries/pain (with often diminished return), etc.
  10. In the past 2 offseason (as a Skins fan), I know we’ve been blocked by teams from interviewing even for promotions. Weird. And as a Sabres fan, I seem to recall the team was blocked from interviewing a few candidates, before hiring Housley. Was it Reardon in Washington?
  11. Entirely possible. Also, after Housley’s first season.... I seem to recall the fact that he was mandated to upgrade his assistants. So perhaps Smith was more of a Botterill hire than a Housley one. Perhaps that might explain why he’s reluctant to release him outright... and will give the new coach an opportunity to keep him aboard. Or at least convince him too 🙂
  12. Exactly. Take a chance. Just because you get burned... doesn’t mean you stop taking chances. That doesn’t mean you make poor decisions and take random chances. Calculated chances like Keefe, Turner, or the Crush coach.... I can accept that. Especially if there’s not a ‘hands down’ veteran candidate you want.
  13. Funny isn’t it? Considering Botterill explicitly mentioned defensive zone lapses as part of the teams major area of need for improvement.
  14. $6M/year for 5 years, familiar with the GM, good player foundation, low expectations (as a franchise and hockey town), sunny state with low taxes. He has leverage due to his credentials. Really ideal circumstances. Theres not too many franchises that can compete with that. 🙂 Buffalo has some nice pieces though. Young team, some core pieces, cap space.
  15. Is that true? This is the NHL... we see coaches get canned 8 games into a season, 20 games, etc. Coaches in any sport may get 4-5 year contracts..... but I can’t imagine any coach, in any sport, will survive more than 2 seasons like the Sabres have had. In order to get into years 3-4-5 of any contract, your team has to show SOME modicum of improvement/progress (even if that includes consistency in something)
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