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It's a current obsession of mine, so I figured I'd start a new thread for it rather than re-purposing old threads that deal with different topics. To review: PSE's creatives stink. (Look: I'm an old that used a young person's word.) Most recently, the Cleveland Browns put out a clever and funny Office parody. The. Cleveland. Browns. Here's hoping PSE can start doing good things in the creative fun department. Let's track their progress - or lack thereof - in this thread.
As soon as the segment is on their site, I'll post it. It was a brilliant break-down of the Sabres' current state with measured and properly analyzed solutions for the problems the team faces. Sorry, I don't have the details in my brain. He said the goal-tending has under performed 5v5, that we're over utilizing low-value players, too many replacement or below-replacement level players.
I got into a long-winded conversation with a friend today regarding the overall state of this team, and it's turning into a long-winded post here. Apologies in advance, but there are few outlets for this. It's incredible when you put yourself back into your place in, let's say, 2008, and where we are now. FORGET the team and record and all that. I'm talking strictly the organization all the way up to ownership. Under Golisano and Quinn, this team wasn't just an huge upstart on the ice. It was a leader in the league on many fronts. They had gone out of their way, forced by the hand they purchased, of course, to undergo a huge fan-connection effort to re-energize this business. FIrst, they lowered ticket prices not once, but TWICE (https://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/stories/2004/07/12/story3.html), in order to entice people to get back in there. And then, they began innovating. They were the first team (i believe) to introduce the variable ticket pricing system in the NHL, to further sweeten the deal. And it worked even before the 2005 season started. It got a lot of people in there and on the cheap. By the next year, obviously helped by the lightning/bottle team they had, they had to cap them off and start the waiting list. ONE SEASON did that. But it wasn't just getting people in there and getting lucky with a hot team. They tried things. They pushed changes into the league. And often they failed, but isn't that what a growing, fast-paced, innovated business does? Sure, was blue ice kinda silly? Curved nets? Slug Logos? But they tried. They slapped a number on the front right shoulder of the jersey. Combined with insanely high jersey sales and a President's Trophy team, even the NYTimes called them "Another Hockeytown" (https://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/04/sports/hockey/04sabres.html), in which Larry Quinn is quoted as saying, ...wait for it... “I think the most important thing facing teams is not to price your team out of the market,” said Larry Quinn, the Sabres’ managing partner. You don't say. The difference to now is night and day. I don't even remember why people disliked Quinn. People constantly cracked on him for meddling with the team or something. That guy got on the radio every week and talked to people. He tried all sorts of fresh ideas that, at the very least, kept the Sabres at the forefront of league talk. "Oh, look what these new Sabres are trying out now!" What in the hell happened to THAT? His BuffaSlug jersey that everyone supposedly hated, at one point, had something like 6 out of the top 10 best sellers in the league (Pres. Trophy, i know). In contrast, while not a "managing partner", Russ Brandon, whom i really have no problem with, is the President of BOTH the Bills and the Sabres, which to me is a massive mistake. His competence for the one team doesn't mean its just going to roll over to the other, and ESPECIALLY when the main team is of the NFL variety. That decision alone cemented the Sabres fate to be nothing more than the bastard, adopted, red-headed stepchild with a weird limp that it currently looks like, because you're asking a guy to divide his attention, ANY attention, from the true cash cow, and he's supposed to give a lick about anything else? Of course, it didn't start there. The LaFontaine hiring-because-we-hung-out-at-a-party situation was our first warning. Sure, i'll fire everyone and hire you cuz i'm awestruck right now. Hey while you're at it, WHY NOT bring back a coach that literally no one in the league, inside or out, really respects, and THEN hire a GM who will have to put up with that horsecrap. What could go wrong? :huh: And then there's everything else. All of that forward-thinking, progressive-minded approach to the game of hockey and the league is gone. All of the fan connecting efforts are missing. Even Ted-freaking-Black got that right. The entire arena experience is one heaping, sloppy milquetoast glass of boring to levels I can't believe. Jesus, even Sabretooth used to be a hilarious part of the experience when they'd allow him to perform his wacky antics and pre-game stuff. Now, he beats on a poorly tuned drum WHILE THE GAME IS IN ACTION, and shoots throws t-shirts that no one will ever wear at people. He barely exists. But don't worry, we'll numb you to death with EDM and bad trivia once a period. I know a LOT of this could be reversed with a good team, but an organization is an organization, and I've always felt the vibes flow both ways. Mittelstadt and Eichel be damned, how can the team on the ice ever truly improve if the people all the way up to the top are running the boat onto shore? For whatever Golisano and Quinn's legacies are, or should be, that short-lived partnership didn't just save the team, it shot it directly into the spotlight of the whole league. Hell, it shot the whole league up a little too. Maybe that would've been different had they not been so good, and subsequently the fan base wouldn't have flipped out so much, but they were making REAL changes in that 2003-2004 season. And they worked hard during the lockout and into that offseason leading up to 2005 to make that organization beloved again, even before we knew what we had on our hands. And I tend to believe that all of that effort paid off on the ice in a small way, and things snowballed for those few years. All i can see this current organization doing is maybe going back to the original jerseys. Hooray. Can't say i'll buy one, cuz y'all suck. Everything else has gone backwards or disappeared completely. Pegula has, despite his apparent/supposed love for them, turned them into an embarrassing afterthought, throughout the league, and most importantly to the fans. By consolidating the teams into one over-arching organization, he has undermined the Buffalo Sabres so much. They're the leftovers in the fridge you don't feel like throwing out, shoved into the back and covered up by the nicer, fresher, Red and Blue food. Spray some febreeze on it so it don't stink. As a start, he needs to get a true hockey President in there, who is going to treat the team with the full attention and respect it deserves, and let him make sweeping changes all the way down. Let Brandon run the Bills, where it's worked. I don't blame Brandon at all for any of this, but I do not want him there anymore for the same reason. Then back off. Let someone else steer. Or, get the hell out.