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fushetti

Fandom dying by the day.....

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16 hours ago, Ogre said:

You’ll all be fine. JC. Dramatic much? If you think all hope is lost then let some other city have your team...you’ll be crying rivers of tears once you don’t have a team anymore....maybe you guys will get in on the 2049 expansion draft?....

This is brought up all the time but I totally disagree with it.

If the Sabres moved I would move on as well and that would be the end of it.  We would quickly adapt to the new world without a WNY based hockey team and that would be that.  I'm already pretty used to that world, b/c that is the world I find myself in every year come playoff time anyway.

There aren't a lot of folks in WNY still crying over the loss of our beloved Buffalo Braves after all.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Gatorman0519 said:

Been a fan since the 70’s.  All time lowest point right now.  

This is without question.  This entire lingering rebuild era is--without question--the worst era in franchise history.  

 

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6 hours ago, SwampD said:

Eight freakin’ years. Do you know how difficult that is?

I mean, It’s like we were trying to lose.

Bigger picture: Four playoff appearances since Dom left in 2001. (I hate that this lets Terry off the hook a little.)

3 hours ago, dudacek said:

Is the above because of the below?

Because I don’t see how this is worse than we we were last year at this time, or the previous year at this time.

Just the fact we have years of Dahlin to look forward to makes it better for me.

Will it mean anything or will it be like Lions fans getting to watch Barry Sanders?

2 hours ago, LTS said:

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Cue the tank discussion.

Cue the Because Buffalo discussion.

Cue the management sucks discussion.

The problem is not the team, it's the fan.  The fan thinks the team is better than it is and then gets mad when it's not. The fan can't accept it when a GM says BS to a win streak despite the stats all indicating that Buffalo was getting lucky. The fan ignores that reality and instead thinks the team is better.

The fan is wrong. But the fan doesn't care.

See, there was play before and after the streak, too. But this season is destined to be remembered as one where the team sucked except for 10 games which they were lucky to win. Sample size, they will snort, milk-a-flying. But they were 6-4 after 10; then went 1-2-2 in a stretch that included OT losses at Columbus and at home against Calgary and a 9-2 rout of the Sens at home; then won the 10 in a row; then lost five in a row but still played extremely well in tight losses at Tampa and Washington and at home against the Leafs; then won three of four to sit at 20-9-5 nearing midseason, second in the conference and tied for fourth overall with Nashville.

The idea the team was getting lucky is a stretch. They were a playoff team and the players, coaches and management ***** the bed. (I hate that this lets Terry off the hook, but I'm sure he played some meddling role in the collapse somehow.) Really, it's OK to be disappointed that they choked.

2 hours ago, SDS said:

FWIW, even if you handed out the Stanley Cup to every team, in alphabetical order, the most cups we could expect is between 1 and 2. The fact that they haven't won one is not that remarkable. 12/31 ~ almost 39% haven't won one yet. Which means only 19 have won it and many of those teams are older than the Sabres. 

When the head coach and owner start thinking like this, I'm done. Wait...

Edited by PASabreFan
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1 hour ago, Kruppstahl said:

This is without question.  This entire lingering rebuild era is--without question--the worst era in franchise history.  

 

By quite a bit.  Sure, it was easier to make the playoffs in the 70's and 80's...but I found this and posted it in another thread:

-The Sabres are now going on 8 full seasons without the playoffs.  

-Before this streak, they only 1 time in their history had more than a 2 year playoff drought..and that one time was a 3 year drought.

-Before this streak, they only missed the playoffs a total of 11 times in 40 seasons. This will be 8 times in 8 seasons.

-And for those who say it was easier to make the playoffs in the past..how about this....During this streak, 3 times in 8 years they finished the season with less than 40% of available points.  They only did that 1 time in the entire history of the team before that (their 2nd season they existed.)

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7 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Bigger picture: Four playoff appearances since Dom left in 2001. (I hate that this lets Terry off the hook a little.)

Will it mean anything or will it be like Lions fans getting to watch Barry Sanders?

See, there was play before and after the streak, too. But this season is destined to be remembered as one where the team sucked except for 10 games which they were lucky to win. Sample size, they will snort, milk-a-flying. But they were 6-4 after 10; then went 1-2-2 in a stretch that included OT losses at Columbus and at home against Calgary and a 9-2 rout of the Sens at home; then won the 10 in a row; then lost five in a row but still played extremely well in tight losses at Tampa and Washington and at home against the Leafs; then won three of four to sit at 20-9-5 nearing midseason, second in the conference and tied for fourth overall with Nashville.

The idea the team was getting lucky is a stretch. They were a playoff team and the players, coaches and management ***** the bed. (I hate that this lets Terry off the hook, but I'm sure he played some meddling role in the collapse somehow.) Really, it's OK to be disappointed that they choked.

When the head coach and owner start thinking like this, I'm done. Wait...

Math is hard.

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2 minutes ago, SDS said:

Math is hard.

Care to elaborate? Are you saying it's math (or science?) that the Sabres were lucky? That to deny the idea is like denying climate change?

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8 hours ago, dudacek said:

Is the above because of the below?

Because I don’t see how this is worse than we we were last year at this time, or the previous year at this time.

Just the fact we have years of Dahlin to look forward to makes it better for me.

Of course it's because of what came below. None of these seasons are taking place in a vacuum. Every successive season we are bad, feels worse than the previous. Getting starved for a second consecutive day feels worse than on that first day even if individually there is no difference in operation. 

It's also about expectation. In a different thread you posted about how we'd be among the most improved teams this year at 80 points and that factors in to why Botterill would keep Housley. The team has been in the basement since the streak, perceived significant improvement (if it existed at all) was a mirage.

They've improved incrementally, but finishing around 22-25th, especially when it even includes the anomaly of the streak, is just not enough improvement for my liking. It feels like a disappointment. Including when factoring in pre-season expectation.

The bar is so, so low. When the coach says things like "It's hard to win games in this league", it's hard for a fan to hear. 

8 hours ago, LTS said:

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Cue the tank discussion.

Cue the Because Buffalo discussion.

Cue the management sucks discussion.

The problem is not the team, it's the fan.  The fan thinks the team is better than it is and then gets mad when it's not. The fan can't accept it when a GM says BS to a win streak despite the stats all indicating that Buffalo was getting lucky. The fan ignores that reality and instead thinks the team is better.

The fan is wrong. But the fan doesn't care.

The team hasn't won a playoff series in 12 years, or made the playoffs in 8. The problem is the team. One can understand that Botterill had and has a mountain of work ahead of him and still be in a state of overwhelming disappointment due to years of shelling out their time and $ to follow the team they love. 

Edited by Thorny

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21 hours ago, fushetti said:

Hello, my name is Fushetti, and I'm a Sabres fan.   

I'm closing in on 40...i'm coming to grips that my hometown teams, Sabres & Bills will never win in my lifetime.   

So this year, post 10 game streak,  I've really been having a hard time with my first love, The Sabres.   Last year was without a doubt (and i'm sure for many of you) the least enjoyable Sabres season for me.   The lottery win kept me hanging on.  Then the streak... i started to feel that feeling i hadn't felt in so long.  Excitement, hope, optimism, OMG PLAYOFFS?  (Jim Mora where are you?)   Then the effing freefall since.   I'm back to square one.   I am back to not really caring.   

I'm really having a hard time justifying any sort of time/attention/money toward this team any longer.   The Tim Murray era on has killed my passion for this team.   I cried the day that the Pegulas brought back old the old player on alumni night in 2011.   I drove in from Albany for playoff games and screamed my head off to the point to lightheadedness when Drury scored against NYR.   I went to Carolina and Ottawa in the ECF's.    I still have season tickets living 300 miles away.   

Just wondering if anyone else feels like me out there.   It never seems to get better as a Buffalo fan.   I've been in Albany since 2003.  I adopted the Red Sox as a baseball team and they've won 4 championships but its not the same as if my teams from WNY won.  (Save it Yanks Fans)   

I'm sure i'll post this, forget i posted it and never see a reply like i always do.   This site really needs a notification system.  

Go Sabres.

Frushsie,

welcome aboard.  I’m 60+ and still a diehard fan to the end. 

It gets better. The first 50  years are the roughest. 

Punch

I read that prior to the Pegulas, the longest playoffs drought was three years.  We are working on 8 right now and we still look several years away. 

Edited by Pimlach
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20 hours ago, Kruppstahl said:

Hey Fushetti,

I'm right there with you.  I'm a bit older than you but my experiences are pretty much the same; I'm even a fellow Red Sox fan.  I grew to cheer for them some time around 1980 so their years of failure always blended in well with the Sabres and Bills.

The Sabres and Bills are both 2 very middling franchises that have always existed, for the most part, to make up the numbers.  It was supposed to be different now with Pegula and his passion/money to right the course, but unfortunately he has quickly shown to be an incredibly low information sports fan.  

I wish I could say things are now on the right path with the Sabres, but they really aren't.  I don't like Botterill, Housley is terrible, and we don't have a ton of prospects in the system that make you feel happy.

We do have elite talent in Eichel and Dahlin already on board, and both are still young.  That's really good.

We also have Reinhart and he's a pretty solid guy too.  I think Mittelstadt still has a shot at developing into something so there's that.  After that we don't have a lot.

I do think that if we get the right GM, we can progress much more quickly than we have done with Botterill at the helm.

However, I don't get the feeling Pegula will replace the GM, but historically that's right around when he drops the hammer on these guys.

Hang in there.

 

 

 

The sabres were a very good and respected franchise until about 8 yrs ago. They were consistent winners without these endless rebuilding scenarios.

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11 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

One question: when Jason says "we're not there yet," what is "there"?

That's an easy one. A team with enough talent to compete with anyone each and every night. 

We've gone from maybe 1/4 of a hockey team to about 2/3 of a hockey team, but that last third is essential.

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6 hours ago, Kruppstahl said:

This is brought up all the time but I totally disagree with it.

If the Sabres moved I would move on as well and that would be the end of it.  We would quickly adapt to the new world without a WNY based hockey team and that would be that.  I'm already pretty used to that world, b/c that is the world I find myself in every year come playoff time anyway.

There aren't a lot of folks in WNY still crying over the loss of our beloved Buffalo Braves after all.

 

 

I’ve been spending time thinking thoughtfully about this...correct me if I’m wrong but...you’re more of a WNY sports fan and not so much...necessarily...a hockey fan...

I get it. Some peeps love a sport and crave it like a drug...some peeps just jump on a bandwagon until it goes down a road they’re not into... happens...that’s not fandom though....that’s regionalism and it’s far more dangerous than an inept owner.....by MILES!

Edited by Ogre

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9 hours ago, ... said:

My brother died last Thursday from cancer.  He was a life-long fan: I became a Sabres fan through him.  We shared a room in our ghetto home for 7 years when we were young.  His entire side of the room was plastered with Sabres posters, articles, pics, pennants.  Even the ceiling.

I'm so angry that this piece of s%^t organization does not honor, or even seem to realize, what it means to us plebeians.  51 years of being a fan and not one taste.  This last decade has been horrible.

Dude. Sorry to hear about this and sorry for your loss.

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What is amazing is that even after the last decade, we are still have the 8th best all-time NHL winning percentage.

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17 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

Bigger picture: Four playoff appearances since Dom left in 2001. (I hate that this lets Terry off the hook a little.)

Will it mean anything or will it be like Lions fans getting to watch Barry Sanders?

See, there was play before and after the streak, too. But this season is destined to be remembered as one where the team sucked except for 10 games which they were lucky to win. Sample size, they will snort, milk-a-flying. But they were 6-4 after 10; then went 1-2-2 in a stretch that included OT losses at Columbus and at home against Calgary and a 9-2 rout of the Sens at home; then won the 10 in a row; then lost five in a row but still played extremely well in tight losses at Tampa and Washington and at home against the Leafs; then won three of four to sit at 20-9-5 nearing midseason, second in the conference and tied for fourth overall with Nashville.

The idea the team was getting lucky is a stretch. They were a playoff team and the players, coaches and management ***** the bed. (I hate that this lets Terry off the hook, but I'm sure he played some meddling role in the collapse somehow.) Really, it's OK to be disappointed that they choked.

When the head coach and owner start thinking like this, I'm done. Wait...

So what happened?  The thing that happens to young teams and exactly what Botterill and Housley preached.  The game tightens up. The better, more seasoned, teams don't drop off the map like the younger teams tend to do. The Sabres haven't learned that yet.  They are still too young and they have too many holes to fill to overcome it.

Look at the Blues, they are pretty much the exact opposite of the Sabres.  One can point to a coaching change, one could point to to Jordan Binnington (I have done both), but they are also a very seasoned team.  A team that knows how to pull through bad stretches.

What did Okposo say about a month ago?  This team is still too emotional. There were players that were too high during the streak and once that ended and the losing set in they let it compound on them.  The team, overall, just does not have the mental maturity to grind out a season.  This isn't anyone's "fault" per se. It just happens to be that you can't flip the roster that fast all the time.  

The team is under performing a bit from where I expected. I think the loss of Berglund made a big difference in the Sabres being able to shutdown the other teams top line. There are a few other factors in there as well. People will point at Berglund and blame Botterill for trading ROR.  I'm done debating that. But the fact is, Berglund was a player that formed a good shutdown line and then left the team.  That's, as far as we know, something that was unpredictable.

Disappointed?  I am.  I'm not depressed about it.  I can understand how the team got to this position despite it not being where I would like.  I expected them to be a little bit better but I did not expect the playoffs.  I thought it was a possibility, but not a high probability.

16 hours ago, Thorny said:

 

The team hasn't won a playoff series in 12 years, or made the playoffs in 8. The problem is the team. One can understand that Botterill had and has a mountain of work ahead of him and still be in a state of overwhelming disappointment due to years of shelling out their time and $ to follow the team they love. 

The team has not been successful that is true.  What has the team done that makes you think it should be more successful than it is at the moment?  The team has been mismanaged.  I have no control over it.  I can't go back and undo what has been done and I can't impact what will happen in the future.  The amount of money and time I invest in the team is commensurate with their level of achievement.  That's really the crux of my argument.  I don't get that upset because they aren't worth getting that upset over.

I guess a lot of fans are like the players Okposo described.  Too high when they win and too low when they lose. 

When I say the problem is with the fan I think of situations like the Bills losing 4 straight Super Bowls.  Right now, a fan would probably look back and say, man I wish they could be in a position to lose 4 straight again.  At the time, the fans were reacting to the Bills losing a Super Bowl much like they react to the team having been so crappy for so long.  In one scenario the team was highly successful and in the other the team has been a model of futility and in both situations the fans, eventually, were tired of excuses and reasons.  Their responses sounded similar despite a team that had continually finished 2nd versus a team that finished out of the playoffs.

 

2 hours ago, Marchand'sNose said:

 

My final thought on this subject: for the love of God, please THINK OF THE CHILDREN! Sports team fanbases are built primarily on the captured hearts of adolescent males. But throughout WNY and the great Buffalo diaspora spread across this fine country, we have perhaps lost an entire generation now of Sabres and Bills fans due to the sustained inability to field remotely entertaining products. For a highly marginal professional sports market as Buffalo, this is not at all a very good thing. 

 

 

I cut a lot of your post because i only wanted to address the last part.  It was a very good post.  The ownership aspects of the franchise are very real to the situation the team finds itself in today.  I accept it however, because i can't buy the team.  It's what happened.  Through it all, I can say, at least there are still teams in Buffalo.

As for the children.. I don't think the impact is as great as people think.  Despite the negative outcomes, parents fandom tends to rub off on children.  My son, who just turned 15, has shown no desire to stop being a fan of the Sabres.  He still gets annoyed when he can't watch a game due to some other conflict (including his own hockey practices). He's an example of one, to be certain, but I don't think he's unlike many others who become a fan of a team because their parents were fans.  Some kids will straight up find another team because of friends, or whatever.  But I don't know how much team success plays into that.. maybe I am wrong.

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LTS, I mean no offense (okay, maybe I do a little) but you gotta STFU just stop about anything wrong with this franchise, or the perceptions thereof, being the fans fault. That is utter nonsense. This team sux,… hard, and has for a while. The fact that there any fans left at all is a testament to how great they actually are.

Edited by SwampD
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11 hours ago, SwampD said:

LTS, I mean no offense (okay, maybe I do a little) but you gotta STFU just stop about anything wrong with this franchise, or the perceptions thereof, being the fans fault. That is utter nonsense. This team sux,… hard, and has for a while. The fact that there any fans left at all is a testament to how great they actually are.

Fair enough.  I'm out. 

Edited by LTS
Enjoy.

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14 minutes ago, LTS said:

Fair enough.  I'm out. 

😀

Your avatar and rank are fantastic.

 

I just have thing about blaming the fans. I can’t remember who it was the last but someone said it was our fault they sucked because we still supported the team by going to games.

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I live outside of the Buffalo area and do not subscribe to the NHL Center Ice Package.  I used to sign up in February, after the Super Bowl, to enjoy the playoff run.  I was hoping to resume doing that again this season, but there is no point in spending my time and money for this product.  I do believe that the organization is trying to improve the team, trying to win and get to they playoffs, but they have not found the right formula.  I would love for Housley to be successful for a couple of reasons:  1)  He is new blood in the coaching ranks and not a re-tread like you see all over the league; 2) he played a large part of his HOF career in Buffalo, so it would be a great story for him to come "back home" to lead the team to success.  That said, I just don't see it happening.  The team has shown that when they give full effort for 3 periods, they can play with anyone, but how often do we see this?  I will remain a loyal fan, but until they get this right, there will be limits to how much effort I will put into supporting the team.

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We have become the LA Clippers of the NHL. Oh wait they used to be the Buffalo Braves!!!

 

download (4).jpg

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On 3/12/2019 at 6:54 AM, Marchand'sNose said:

 

We absolutely were! Though to be more accurate, I would say "until about 17 years ago." Many people are probably not aware that the Sabres - for about the first three decades of existence - were the third most successful franchise in the NHL in terms of game points percentage (points obtained divided by points possible), behind only Montreal and Philly and not even too far behind those two. Obviously the playoffs were another matter, but that's mostly because our fledgling franchise consistently stood in the shadows of more established ones like Montreal and Boston (partly due to the playoff format back then). Nevertheless, the Sabres were pretty much always competitive and occasionally very much so.

 

So what went wrong during the 21st century? Simple: ownership. First came the Rigas scandal, and then came Golisano. Both were overly parsimonious to the point that the on-ice product suffered greatly. Rigas wouldn't pay our stars what they were worth. Golisano took this idea even further and trimmed the scouting personnel way too much (evidence: see our drafting history from 2005-2011, the effects from which we still are experiencing today).

 

Then came Terry Pegula, who at least arrived with dedication and enthusiasm for winning. His problem? Utter NAIVETY in all things related to sports management. We initially saw it with the reckless spending on such "talents" as Ville Leino and Christian Ehrhoff and soon after with Cody Hodgson and Matt Moulson. His fan crushes on everyone tied to Sabre history is also a major problem. It has manifested itself multiple times, whether it be taking too long to part with Regier and Ruff, turning to an unstable personality like LaFontaine to initially run the rebuild, or hiring a highly unproven head coach like Phil Housley. Perhaps Terry Pegula's biggest problem, however, may be his complete lack of certitude. You get the sense that he can be easily influenced by the wrong people with stronger personalities. The Tim Murray era never should have happened. Same thing on the football side with the Rex Ryan era. Same thing with Russ Brandon's lengthy run of influence on both sport sides. And now Botterill has Terry convinced that rebuilds need to take much longer than they somehow do for all other NHL franchises. This is very convenient for Jason Botterill because it quite simply buys him more time on the job than would otherwise be reasonable. My final Terry Pegula personality complaint would be the extent to which his political and religious/moral beliefs bleed into the sports operations. Are any of us confident that Terry will look objectively on Phil Housley's tenure? Or that of Sean McDermott? When it becomes obvious that these two are a problem and need to go, I have a deep concern that Terry Pegula will be the last person in Western New York to see it.

 

Apologies for this ownership rant, but I needed to get that off my chest.

 

Moving back to the original topic: I would say that every single Sabres fan has every right to complain right now. We are quickly approaching the "historically unprecedented" realm in terms of NHL franchise incompetence, and there appears to be very little evidence that it will get much better any time soon. Why are the Sabres still basically playing like the worst team in the league (that is, for the past 3.5 months)?  Injuries aren't a problem, JB/PH have been given two off-seasons and nearly two full seasons to mold the team in their image, and the roster is not exactly devoid of raw hockey talent (8 regulars are top-8 overall draft picks). So I don't like it when others attempt to trivialize valid fan frustrations by pointing to various non sequitors as the Boston Red Sox finally turning things around or the Quebec Nordiques losing their franchise. Something is very disturbingly wrong with the Buffalo Sabres franchise. Once the Hurricanes make the playoffs, we will have the longest active playoff drought (8 seasons) and will be only 2 seasons away from tying the NHL record.

 

My final thought on this subject: for the love of God, please THINK OF THE CHILDREN! Sports team fanbases are built primarily on the captured hearts of adolescent males. But throughout WNY and the great Buffalo diaspora spread across this fine country, we have perhaps lost an entire generation now of Sabres and Bills fans due to the sustained inability to field remotely entertaining products. For a highly marginal professional sports market as Buffalo, this is not at all a very good thing. 

 

 

Thanks for this post - you eloquently stated everything that I have been thinking for the last few months.  Amen!

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On 3/12/2019 at 6:54 AM, Marchand'sNose said:

 

We absolutely were! Though to be more accurate, I would say "until about 17 years ago." Many people are probably not aware that the Sabres - for about the first three decades of existence - were the third most successful franchise in the NHL in terms of game points percentage (points obtained divided by points possible), behind only Montreal and Philly and not even too far behind those two. Obviously the playoffs were another matter, but that's mostly because our fledgling franchise consistently stood in the shadows of more established ones like Montreal and Boston (partly due to the playoff format back then). Nevertheless, the Sabres were pretty much always competitive and occasionally very much so.

 

So what went wrong during the 21st century? Simple: ownership. First came the Rigas scandal, and then came Golisano. Both were overly parsimonious to the point that the on-ice product suffered greatly. Rigas wouldn't pay our stars what they were worth. Golisano took this idea even further and trimmed the scouting personnel way too much (evidence: see our drafting history from 2005-2011, the effects from which we still are experiencing today).

 

Then came Terry Pegula, who at least arrived with dedication and enthusiasm for winning. His problem? Utter NAIVETY in all things related to sports management. We initially saw it with the reckless spending on such "talents" as Ville Leino and Christian Ehrhoff and soon after with Cody Hodgson and Matt Moulson. His fan crushes on everyone tied to Sabre history is also a major problem. It has manifested itself multiple times, whether it be taking too long to part with Regier and Ruff, turning to an unstable personality like LaFontaine to initially run the rebuild, or hiring a highly unproven head coach like Phil Housley. Perhaps Terry Pegula's biggest problem, however, may be his complete lack of certitude. You get the sense that he can be easily influenced by the wrong people with stronger personalities. The Tim Murray era never should have happened. Same thing on the football side with the Rex Ryan era. Same thing with Russ Brandon's lengthy run of influence on both sport sides. And now Botterill has Terry convinced that rebuilds need to take much longer than they somehow do for all other NHL franchises. This is very convenient for Jason Botterill because it quite simply buys him more time on the job than would otherwise be reasonable. My final Terry Pegula personality complaint would be the extent to which his political and religious/moral beliefs bleed into the sports operations. Are any of us confident that Terry will look objectively on Phil Housley's tenure? Or that of Sean McDermott? When it becomes obvious that these two are a problem and need to go, I have a deep concern that Terry Pegula will be the last person in Western New York to see it.

 

Apologies for this ownership rant, but I needed to get that off my chest.

 

Moving back to the original topic: I would say that every single Sabres fan has every right to complain right now. We are quickly approaching the "historically unprecedented" realm in terms of NHL franchise incompetence, and there appears to be very little evidence that it will get much better any time soon. Why are the Sabres still basically playing like the worst team in the league (that is, for the past 3.5 months)?  Injuries aren't a problem, JB/PH have been given two off-seasons and nearly two full seasons to mold the team in their image, and the roster is not exactly devoid of raw hockey talent (8 regulars are top-8 overall draft picks). So I don't like it when others attempt to trivialize valid fan frustrations by pointing to various non sequitors as the Boston Red Sox finally turning things around or the Quebec Nordiques losing their franchise. Something is very disturbingly wrong with the Buffalo Sabres franchise. Once the Hurricanes make the playoffs, we will have the longest active playoff drought (8 seasons) and will be only 2 seasons away from tying the NHL record.

 

My final thought on this subject: for the love of God, please THINK OF THE CHILDREN! Sports team fanbases are built primarily on the captured hearts of adolescent males. But throughout WNY and the great Buffalo diaspora spread across this fine country, we have perhaps lost an entire generation now of Sabres and Bills fans due to the sustained inability to field remotely entertaining products. For a highly marginal professional sports market as Buffalo, this is not at all a very good thing. 

 

 

I enjoyed this and agree with a whole lot of it; not sure we were a great franchise historically.  We were good at making the playoffs in an era when almost everyone did that, and then losing in the first round.  Of that, there is no doubt.

But that is off-topic.

I agree with your analysis of Terry Pegula.  I have been saying this for several years now, in both a Sabres and Bills context: he is the lowest information sports fan you will ever find.  On top of that, I straight up question how intelligent he is.  On top of that, his mind is controlled by a force outside himself: his religious faith.  That is always dangerous.

When a franchise changes everything about itself over and over and yet remains terrible for a sustained period of time, there is only place to look for answers: ownership.  One need look no further than the Bills' history and the ownership situation there.

For probably the last 20 years of Wilson's ownership or so, the situation reached an alarming equilibrium: until Ralph died or sold the team, nothing would change, and we would be terrible.  And that's exactly how it worked out.

We seem to be in a similar equilibrium now with the Sabres.  I don't see a lot of success coming from the Botterill regime.  So then, if and when he is replaced, who will he be replaced with?  And who will make that decision?  Answer: Pegula. Why should his judgment be any better then that it has been for the last 8 years?  What's changed?  Added experience?  Maybe. 

PS:  You'll notice Beane and McDermott are doing the same thing Botterill is doing; influencing their naive owner into taking the long, slow rebuild view.  The Bills straight up sacrificed last season without needing to do so, but as you point out, why work for a couple years if you can extend the gig to 4 or 5 or more.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 3/12/2019 at 3:54 AM, Marchand'sNose said:

 

We absolutely were! Though to be more accurate, I would say "until about 17 years ago." Many people are probably not aware that the Sabres - for about the first three decades of existence - were the third most successful franchise in the NHL in terms of game points percentage (points obtained divided by points possible), behind only Montreal and Philly and not even too far behind those two. Obviously the playoffs were another matter, but that's mostly because our fledgling franchise consistently stood in the shadows of more established ones like Montreal and Boston (partly due to the playoff format back then). Nevertheless, the Sabres were pretty much always competitive and occasionally very much so.

 

So what went wrong during the 21st century? Simple: ownership. First came the Rigas scandal, and then came Golisano. Both were overly parsimonious to the point that the on-ice product suffered greatly. Rigas wouldn't pay our stars what they were worth. Golisano took this idea even further and trimmed the scouting personnel way too much (evidence: see our drafting history from 2005-2011, the effects from which we still are experiencing today).

 

Then came Terry Pegula, who at least arrived with dedication and enthusiasm for winning. His problem? Utter NAIVETY in all things related to sports management. We initially saw it with the reckless spending on such "talents" as Ville Leino and Christian Ehrhoff and soon after with Cody Hodgson and Matt Moulson. His fan crushes on everyone tied to Sabre history is also a major problem. It has manifested itself multiple times, whether it be taking too long to part with Regier and Ruff, turning to an unstable personality like LaFontaine to initially run the rebuild, or hiring a highly unproven head coach like Phil Housley. Perhaps Terry Pegula's biggest problem, however, may be his complete lack of certitude. You get the sense that he can be easily influenced by the wrong people with stronger personalities. The Tim Murray era never should have happened. Same thing on the football side with the Rex Ryan era. Same thing with Russ Brandon's lengthy run of influence on both sport sides. And now Botterill has Terry convinced that rebuilds need to take much longer than they somehow do for all other NHL franchises. This is very convenient for Jason Botterill because it quite simply buys him more time on the job than would otherwise be reasonable. My final Terry Pegula personality complaint would be the extent to which his political and religious/moral beliefs bleed into the sports operations. Are any of us confident that Terry will look objectively on Phil Housley's tenure? Or that of Sean McDermott? When it becomes obvious that these two are a problem and need to go, I have a deep concern that Terry Pegula will be the last person in Western New York to see it.

 

Apologies for this ownership rant, but I needed to get that off my chest.

 

Moving back to the original topic: I would say that every single Sabres fan has every right to complain right now. We are quickly approaching the "historically unprecedented" realm in terms of NHL franchise incompetence, and there appears to be very little evidence that it will get much better any time soon. Why are the Sabres still basically playing like the worst team in the league (that is, for the past 3.5 months)?  Injuries aren't a problem, JB/PH have been given two off-seasons and nearly two full seasons to mold the team in their image, and the roster is not exactly devoid of raw hockey talent (8 regulars are top-8 overall draft picks). So I don't like it when others attempt to trivialize valid fan frustrations by pointing to various non sequitors as the Boston Red Sox finally turning things around or the Quebec Nordiques losing their franchise. Something is very disturbingly wrong with the Buffalo Sabres franchise. Once the Hurricanes make the playoffs, we will have the longest active playoff drought (8 seasons) and will be only 2 seasons away from tying the NHL record.

 

My final thought on this subject: for the love of God, please THINK OF THE CHILDREN! Sports team fanbases are built primarily on the captured hearts of adolescent males. But throughout WNY and the great Buffalo diaspora spread across this fine country, we have perhaps lost an entire generation now of Sabres and Bills fans due to the sustained inability to field remotely entertaining products. For a highly marginal professional sports market as Buffalo, this is not at all a very good thing. 

 

 

its not accurate --the 17 yrs ago- statement--.. they won a lot and were  in the playoffs 4 times with 2 strong runs from 2002 to 2011 ..one losing season in that entire stretch

Edited by calti

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