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A "smaller space" for RaKru with Sabres, but for how long?

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8 minutes ago, TrueBlueGED said:

But that doesn't mean he's involved in the directorial capacity PA and Smell seem to believe. 

In a typical business structure with typical hierarchies, questions and input from an owner can definitely be considered meddling.  Of course, the specific dynamics of the relationships and individual perception/interpretation of the threshold for "meddling" guarantee this conversation will never, ever, find a resolution.

Edited by ...
clarification.

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25 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

All owners have final say.

And just to cut through the spin -- here is what he said exactly:

 

Yeah -- that's just weak sauce. It reads a bit like copy from a writer who's peddling a company's preferred narrative in exchange for access.

His teams have no presidents of sports operations. He is therefore the de facto president of sports operations for those clubs.

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30 minutes ago, ... said:

Providing resources and latitude doesn't mean he provides those without questions and input.

Pretty convenient to leave out the "without meddling" part of the quote.

10 minutes ago, That Aud Smell said:

Yeah -- that's just weak sauce. It reads a bit like copy from a writer who's peddling a company's preferred narrative in exchange for access.

His teams have no presidents of sports operations. He is therefore the de facto president of sports operations for those clubs.

Same Tim Graham piece mentioned that not all teams have someone in operations over the GM.

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43 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

Yes please.

Working on it.

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Here is Tim Graham's mailbag Q&A on the subject of meddling:

There is a feeling that Terry Pegula did not want an experienced GM and did not hire a hockey president because he wants to have the last word in all the player matters (trades, salary, etc). With a first-time GM and no president, Pegula is the guy who takes the last decision, and I think the abrupt and unfortunate Ryan O’Reilly trade it is on Pegula, not on Botts. What is your insight? — Sergiu S.

People I trust tell me this is inaccurate. In fact, Terry Pegula has been increasingly hands-off over the years with both the Sabres and Bills. He hires executives to do those jobs and lets them work without meddling.

Pegula has final say over every personnel move; that is any owner’s prerogative. But insight from those who know insist Pegula provides Sabres GM Jason Botterill and Bills GM Brandon Beane all the latitude and resources they wish.

Many folks are upset the Pegulas haven’t installed a hockey or football czar above Botterill or Beane, or haven’t hired another president since Russ Brandon’s firing. I don’t understand why this is a controversial issue. The term “president” isn’t consistently applied throughout sports. A president with one club might be what another team calls its general manager or its vice president of hockey operations. Some presidents handle only the business and carry zero sway on sports decisions. Botterill and Beane are in charge, so there’s no need for a president, no purpose for another layer in between either GM and the Pegulas.

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12 minutes ago, That Aud Smell said:

Yeah -- that's just weak sauce. It reads a bit like copy from a writer who's peddling a company's preferred narrative in exchange for access.

His teams have no presidents of sports operations. He is therefore the de facto president of sports operations for those clubs.

How many teams actually have this? Even those who do, it wasn't a thing until relatively recently. Half the time the GM also holds the president title. And seriously, if the owner is hell bent on being involved, the idea that another layer will prevent it is kind of amusing to me. And if the argument is that a strong president would prevent meddling, then why can't that also be applied to a strong GM? 

I continue to believe that president of hockey ops is an unnecessary position. 

26 minutes ago, ... said:

In a typical business structure with typical hierarchies, questions and input from an owner can definitely be considered meddling.  Of course, the specific dynamics of the relationships and individual perception/interpretation of the threshold for "meddling" guarantee this conversation will never, ever, find a resolution.

Truth. To some, involvement is by default meddling. To me, meddling has to mean overriding  or directing a GM's decisions on the regular. 

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15 minutes ago, That Aud Smell said:

Yeah -- that's just weak sauce. It reads a bit like copy from a writer who's peddling a company's preferred narrative in exchange for access.

His teams have no presidents of sports operations. He is therefore the de facto president of sports operations for those clubs.

I'm not sure what your point is here.  TP is the owner.  He has all the power over every single decision, large and small, that he cares to exercise.  It doesn't matter whether he also has the "team president" title.

More broadly, it seems like you and PA are bitterly clinging (heh) to the "TP likes to meddle in hockey decisions" narrative.  Is Graham's description, which runs counter to this narrative, "weak sauce" for any particular reason?

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12 minutes ago, Eleven said:

Pretty convenient to leave out the "without meddling" part of the quote.

Because, according to what was posted here (as I don't have access to the article) the inside sources didn't say anything about meddling. It reads to me like Graham is interpreting the information he has as not equaling "meddling", when, as I wrote for @TrueBlueGED, what "meddling" may be is subject to interpretation.

Edited by ...
The Ghost of Dwight Drane

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That reply from Graham has been posted here before.

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5 minutes ago, ... said:

That reply from Graham has been posted here before.

It's only about a week or two old.

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9 minutes ago, Eleven said:

It's only about a week or two old.

I don't think either team needs the added layer of President of Hockey / Football operations.  They have tried that and it did not end well, but mostly by the President of both teams doing / saying something inappropriate, or something.

The answer from Graham did not specifically address the point of the ROR trade.  I find it hard to believe that the Sabres GM would just decide that one of the best centers in the NHL needed to be traded for lesser players on his own.  It does not make sense from a purely hockey stand point.  On the other hand, maybe the GM had a tough decision to make in addressing the 'culture' of the team.

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1 minute ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

The answer from Graham did not specifically address the point of the ROR trade.  I find it hard to believe that the Sabres GM would just decide that one of the best centers in the NHL needed to be traded for lesser players on his own.  It does not make sense from a purely hockey stand point.  On the other hand, maybe the GM had a tough decision to make in addressing the 'culture' of the team.

It’s also entirely possible (and I’m just spitballing, connecting dots that may or may not be there w/ no actual inside info) that ROR, not for the first time, threw all available toys out of his stroller and left his GM in an untenable situation, forcing him to salvage what he could.  JBots didn’t have the luxury of dealing with TM, however... 

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3 minutes ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

The answer from Graham did not specifically address the point of the ROR trade.  I find it hard to believe that the Sabres GM would just decide that one of the best centers in the NHL needed to be traded for lesser players on his own.  It does not make sense from a purely hockey stand point.  On the other hand, maybe the GM had a tough decision to make in addressing the 'culture' of the team.

It almost surely wasn't purely hockey. It had to be some combination of ROR wanting out (and saying it to JBOT), issues with other players, or some other locker room issue. I like to think it started with the player(s) and the GM/Owner made it happen, but I suppose it could have started at the top too. Who was it that said "if someone doesn't want to play in Buffalo, we'll make it happen?"

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5 minutes ago, Sabel79 said:

It’s also entirely possible (and I’m just spitballing, connecting dots that may or may not be there w/ no actual inside info) that ROR, not for the first time, threw all available toys out of his stroller and left his GM in an untenable situation, forcing him to salvage what he could.  JBots didn’t have the luxury of dealing with TM, however... 

I love this metaphor.

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5 minutes ago, Sabel79 said:

It’s also entirely possible (and I’m just spitballing, connecting dots that may or may not be there w/ no actual inside info) that ROR, not for the first time, threw all available toys out of his stroller and left his GM in an untenable situation, forcing him to salvage what he could.  JBots didn’t have the luxury of dealing with TM, however... 

 

3 minutes ago, MattPie said:

It almost surely wasn't purely hockey. It had to be some combination of ROR wanting out (and saying it to JBOT), issues with other players, or some other locker room issue. I like to think it started with the player(s) and the GM/Owner made it happen, but I suppose it could have started at the top too. Who was it that said "if someone doesn't want to play in Buffalo, we'll make it happen?"

I agree that it much more to do with off ice and non hockey issues.  I also like to think that it was the player(s) and not the owner that started the ball rolling.

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7 minutes ago, Sabel79 said:

It’s also entirely possible (and I’m just spitballing, connecting dots that may or may not be there w/ no actual inside info) that ROR, not for the first time, threw all available toys out of his stroller and left his GM in an untenable situation, forcing him to salvage what he could.  JBots didn’t have the luxury of dealing with TM, however... 

Both Ryan and his father said, after the comments, that he loves Buffalo and wanted to be a part of the solution there, and so even if your speculation was true privately, the situation is less untenable than what Matt Duchene did in Colorado to a mediocre general manager, the entire world knowing he wanted out, who still managed to keep him in the lineup the following season until he got a trade offer that suited him (and blows what we got for a better player out of the water), despite coming off of an even worse season than what we were, and the pressures associated with that (FORTY EIGHT points!!). 

Jason deserves all the criticism he gets for the trade, full stop. And until we know anything about the owners, all we can really assume is that Pegula said if you're going to trade him, try and do it by July 1 so we aren't paying him to play on another team

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30 minutes ago, Eleven said:

It's only about a week or two old.

If I have the time to find it, I'll look, but this or something very similar to this has been posted here before.

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3 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:


Jason deserves all the criticism he gets for the trade, full stop. And until we know anything about the owners, all we can really assume is that Pegula said if you're going to trade him, try and do it by July 1 so we aren't paying him to play on another team

Which is much different than Pegula deciding ROR must pay for what he did to that Timmy Ho’s and had to go... 

I am in no way saying the return wasn’t hot poo, or couldn’t have been better.  

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2 minutes ago, Sabel79 said:

Which is much different than Pegula deciding ROR must pay for what he did to that Timmy Ho’s and had to go... 

I am in no way saying the return wasn’t hot poo, or couldn’t have been better.  

I did kind of lose the context of the discussion in my reply there.

FWIW I've always speculated that it was as much Terry's decision as Jason's, because Jason has gotten his clock cleaned in a trade exactly one time, and that one time occurred after a full year of salivating over our center spine without prompting, including ROR by name, and because the trade rumors began way before anything remotely interesting happened (was it Lebrun who mentioned a couple times that we were shopping him at the deadline?). But I'll always treat it as speculation, since that's what it is

But I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's also the Kane situation. "We still suck with these two, and they're embarrassing to me, get em outta here" - maybe TP (and a lot of the post-trade justification by fans, as if your few good players are always to blame for the rest of your roster being ungodly levels of trash)

But youre right that as far as evidence goes, we just know that Terry prefers, should a trade happen, it happens before the bonus. 

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1 hour ago, TrueBlueGED said:

How many teams actually have this? Even those who do, it wasn't a thing until relatively recently. Half the time the GM also holds the president title. And seriously, if the owner is hell bent on being involved, the idea that another layer will prevent it is kind of amusing to me. And if the argument is that a strong president would prevent meddling, then why can't that also be applied to a strong GM? 

I continue to believe that president of hockey ops is an unnecessary position. 

Truth. To some, involvement is by default meddling. To me, meddling has to mean overriding  or directing a GM's decisions on the regular. 

Fair points.

I find the suggestion that Terry Pegula is hands off with personnel to be eyebrow-arch-inducing. Now, the key word above (from Graham) is "increasingly." That I could buy. We'll see, I reckon.

Also: It must be the heart of the off-season because we're here debating anew a subject that, in the past, generated a thread in the dozens if not hundreds of pages. But I suppose circumstances have evolved to warrant a revisiting.

1 hour ago, nfreeman said:

I'm not sure what your point is here.  TP is the owner.  He has all the power over every single decision, large and small, that he cares to exercise.  It doesn't matter whether he also has the "team president" title.

More broadly, it seems like you and PA are bitterly clinging (heh) to the "TP likes to meddle in hockey decisions" narrative.  Is Graham's description, which runs counter to this narrative, "weak sauce" for any particular reason?

My point, which was clearly made notwithstanding any claimed inability to comprehend it, was that Terry Pegula has a demonstrated and admitted track record of involving himself in personnel decisions, strategies.

The idea that I'd bitterly cling to anything here is ... wait for it ... silly. I'm an open-minded skeptic when it comes to matters unknowable -- sometimes, to a fault.

Terry Pegula is the owner who in 2011 knew Paul Gaustad was a leader and a winner, judging by the proverbial cut of his jib. Of late, has he tried to back off that level of involvement? Maybe. Again, we'll see.

1 hour ago, Sabel79 said:

It’s also entirely possible (and I’m just spitballing, connecting dots that may or may not be there w/ no actual inside info) that ROR, not for the first time, threw all available toys out of his stroller and left his GM in an untenable situation, forcing him to salvage what he could.  JBots didn’t have the luxury of dealing with TM, however... 

1 hour ago, Randall Flagg said:

FWIW I've always speculated that it was as much Terry's decision as Jason's, because Jason has gotten his clock cleaned in a trade exactly one time, and that one time occurred after a full year of salivating over our center spine without prompting, including ROR by name, and because the trade rumors began way before anything remotely interesting happened (was it Lebrun who mentioned a couple times that we were shopping him at the deadline?). But I'll always treat it as speculation, since that's what it is

But I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's also the Kane situation. "We still suck with these two, and they're embarrassing to me, get em outta here" - maybe TP (and a lot of the post-trade justification by fans, as if your few good players are always to blame for the rest of your roster being ungodly levels of trash)

But youre right that as far as evidence goes, we just know that Terry prefers, should a trade happen, it happens before the bonus. 

We're well into the back 9 of graduation party season. A few weeks ago, I was at one such get-together, swilling craft beer from red solo cups with a guy who's a middle manager in the PSE group. The hockey game was on, and ROR was having a great game. Someone in our group asked the PSE middle manager what his take was on what had become of ROR. He professed ignorance, but then told a story about a managers meeting from this past fall that was called by a C-level PSE exec (not Kim or Terry). The exec talked about how important it was for the entire group of directors, managers, etc. to be working as a team, to have the right attitude, to be on the same page, etc. ... and then a specific comment was made to the effect of "so even if you're incredibly talented, but you don't have the right attitude and you don't really want to be here, I think the company's made it pretty clear that there probably won't be a place for you here." Given the timing, the takeaway from the people at this guy's table was that the exec was making a reference to ROR. Again, this was not a hockey ops person -- it was a PSE exec. 

I continue to think that the Pegulas had a significant say in the decision to move on from ROR.

And, not for nothing, I am also open to the idea that it had to be done -- that there was no other good choice. I remain torn on the subject, though.

 

Edited by That Aud Smell
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4 minutes ago, That Aud Smell said:

Fair points.

I find the suggestion that Terry Pegula is hands off with personnel to be eyebrow-arch-inducing. Now, the key word above (from Graham) is "increasingly." That I could buy. We'll see, I reckon.

Also: It must be the heart of the off-season because we're here debating anew a subject that, in the past, generated a thread in the dozens if not hundreds of pages. But I suppose circumstances have evolved to warrant a revisiting.

My point, which was clearly made notwithstanding any claimed inability to comprehend it, was that Terry Pegula has a demonstrated and admitted track record of involving himself in personnel decisions, strategies.

The idea that I'd bitterly cling to anything here is ... wait for it ... silly. I'm an open-minded skeptic when it comes to matters unknowable -- sometimes, to a fault.

Terry Pegula is the owner who in 2011 knew Paul Gaustad was a leader and a winner, judging by the proverbial cut of his jib. Of late, has he tried to back off that level of involvement? Maybe. Again, we'll see.

We're well into the back 9 of graduation party season. A few weeks ago, I was at one such get-together, swilling craft beer from red solo cups with a guy who's a middle manager in the PSE group. The hockey game was on, and ROR was having a great game. Someone in our group asked the PSE middle manager what his take was on what had become of ROR. He professed ignorance, but then told a story about a managers meeting from this past fall that was called by a C-level PSE exec (not Kim or Terry). The exec talked about how important it was for the entire group of directors, managers, etc. to be working as a team, to have the right attitude, to be on the same page, etc. ... and then a specific comment was made to the effect of "so even if you're incredibly talented, but you don't have the right attitude and you don't really want to be here, I think the company's made it pretty clear that there probably won't be a place for you here." Given the timing, the takeaway from the people at this guy's table was that the exec was making a reference to ROR. Again, this was not a hockey ops person -- it was a PSE exec. 

I continue to think that the Pegulas had a significant say in the decision to move on from ROR.

And, not for nothing, I am also open to the idea that it had to be done -- that there was no other good choice. I remain torn on the subject, though.

 

Really don't see how any other conclusion could be drawn.  Not saying they told Botterill to move him (chicken &  egg quite possibly there) but they clearly were on board with it & really can't see how it was anything but their decision, once the decision was made to move him, to move him before the bonus kicked in.

Because if THAT wasn't their decision, the only other remotely reasonable possibility for forcing that trade through on that date is it appears to have been the only date Berglund was available.  And to think that THAT was the key to this deal would be simply boggling.

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I think maybe TP or KP ought to slap the contracts folder on Botterill's desk, I'd be alright with that meddling.

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22 minutes ago, That Aud Smell said:

Fair points.

I find the suggestion that Terry Pegula is hands off with personnel to be eyebrow-arch-inducing. Now, the key word above (from Graham) is "increasingly." That I could buy. We'll see, I reckon.

Also: It must be the heart of the off-season because we're here debating anew a subject that, in the past, generated a thread in the dozens if not hundreds of pages. But I suppose circumstances have evolved to warrant a revisiting.

My point, which was clearly made notwithstanding any claimed inability to comprehend it, was that Terry Pegula has a demonstrated and admitted track record of involving himself in personnel decisions, strategies.

The idea that I'd bitterly cling to anything here is ... wait for it ... silly. I'm an open-minded skeptic when it comes to matters unknowable -- sometimes, to a fault.

Terry Pegula is the owner who in 2011 knew Paul Gaustad was a leader and a winner, judging by the proverbial cut of his jib. Of late, has he tried to back off that level of involvement? Maybe. Again, we'll see.

We're well into the back 9 of graduation party season. A few weeks ago, I was at one such get-together, swilling craft beer from red solo cups with a guy who's a middle manager in the PSE group. The hockey game was on, and ROR was having a great game. Someone in our group asked the PSE middle manager what his take was on what had become of ROR. He professed ignorance, but then told a story about a managers meeting from this past fall that was called by a C-level PSE exec (not Kim or Terry). The exec talked about how important it was for the entire group of directors, managers, etc. to be working as a team, to have the right attitude, to be on the same page, etc. ... and then a specific comment was made to the effect of "so even if you're incredibly talented, but you don't have the right attitude and you don't really want to be here, I think the company's made it pretty clear that there probably won't be a place for you here." Given the timing, the takeaway from the people at this guy's table was that the exec was making a reference to ROR. Again, this was not a hockey ops person -- it was a PSE exec. 

I continue to think that the Pegulas had a significant say in the decision to move on from ROR.

And, not for nothing, I am also open to the idea that it had to be done -- that there was no other good choice. I remain torn on the subject, though.

 

At the risk of derailing a thread...maybe nfreeman can move this...

There was a time where this take had one true leg to stand on, out of all things that can possibly be found out by our own eyeballs on the ice or by words with blue checkmarks next to them. It was a brief two week period where the Blues were at the bottom and we were at the top. Of course, it still didn't have a leg to stand on, because anyone watching either team could give full and complete explanations for the situation as it stood without invoking evidence-less voodoo (which they did), and those explanations wound up holding so much water that the farthest possible thing from this supposed reality that could happen in the hockeyverse, ended up happening, just months later. A freaking Conn Smythe and SC victory for a team previously as stricken as the Sabres. Think about this in the context of what the exact Sabres fans who are still willing (somehow) to chime in on the issue were happy to say about the fundamental character and personality of said hockey player just months ago. How firmly the hockey gods dropped the hammer on all of this is jaw-dropping.

Now that everything has happened, and more than a year has passed without anything more than vague whispering like this (when all other actual ills, in the locker room and outside of it, get regularly bandied about as common knowledge, including that from players on our own team (Berglund, Lehner etc)) which only implies to me that Ryan understood how inept our entire franchise is, but was still completely willing and eager too stay and help based on all available evidence (which has now had over a year to come out via those obnoxious blue checkmarks that need the gossip or else they don't have anything of value to add to the sport or its analysis), as we still wallow in ineptitude, I can't believe that anyone would still be inclined to think this. I really can't. 

Edited by Randall Flagg
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2 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

At the risk of derailing a thread...maybe nfreeman can move this...

There was a time where this take had one true leg to stand on, out of all things that can possibly be found out by our own eyeballs on the ice or by words with blue checkmarks next to them. It was a brief two week period where the Blues were at the bottom and we were at the top. Of course, it still didn't have a leg to stand on, because anyone watching either team could give full and complete explanations for the situation as it stood without invoking evidence-less voodoo, and those explanations wound up holding so much water that the farthest possible thing from this supposed reality that could possibly happen, ended up happening, just months later. A freaking Conn Smythe and SC victory for a team previously as stricken as the Sabres. Think about this in the context of what the exact Sabres fans who are still willing (somehow) to chime in on the issue were happy to say about the fundamental character and personality of said hockey player just months ago. How firmly the hockey gods dropped the hammer on all of this is jaw-dropping.

Now that everything has happened, and more than a year has passed without anything more than vague whispering like this (when all other actual ills, in the locker room and outside of it, get regularly bandied about as common knowledge, including that from players on our own team (Berglund, Lehner etc)) which only implies to me that Ryan understood how inept our entire franchise is, but was still completely willing and eager too stay and help based on all available evidence (which has now had over a year to come out via those obnoxious blue checkmarks that need the gossip or else they don't have anything of value to add to the sport or its analysis), as we still wallow in ineptitude, I can't believe that anyone would still be inclined to think this. I really can't. 

Yes, there is a thread for this.  A thread where information has been shared.  It boils down to there isn't a lot of evidence anywhere to support any claims and people can choose what they want to believe. No side can be wrong, no side can be right. The fact that information has not come out does not mean there is no information, it only means that there might be no information.

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5 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

At the risk of derailing a thread...maybe nfreeman can move this...

There was a time where this take had one true leg to stand on, out of all things that can possibly be found out by our own eyeballs on the ice or by words with blue checkmarks next to them. It was a brief two week period where the Blues were at the bottom and we were at the top. Of course, it still didn't have a leg to stand on, because anyone watching either team could give full and complete explanations for the situation as it stood without invoking evidence-less voodoo, and those explanations wound up holding so much water that the farthest possible thing from this supposed reality that could possibly happen, ended up happening, just months later. A freaking Conn Smythe and SC victory for a team previously as stricken as the Sabres. Think about this in the context of what the exact Sabres fans who are still willing (somehow) to chime in on the issue were happy to say about the fundamental character and personality of said hockey player just months ago. How firmly the hockey gods dropped the hammer on all of this is jaw-dropping.

Now that everything has happened, and more than a year has passed without anything more than vague whispering like this (when all other actual ills, in the locker room and outside of it, get regularly bandied about as common knowledge, including that from players on our own team (Berglund, Lehner etc)) which only implies to me that Ryan understood how inept our entire franchise is, but was still completely willing and eager too stay and help based on all available evidence (which has now had over a year to come out via those obnoxious blue checkmarks that need the gossip or else they don't have anything of value to add to the sport or its analysis), as we still wallow in ineptitude, I can't believe that anyone would still be inclined to think this. I really can't. 

I don’t know if this is relevant to the train of thought in your response, but I interpreted the bold to imply “had to be done in the eyes of TP”

 

I know most of us can’t imagine what it’s like to be a billionaire. But imagine, you’re about to write a $5mil+ check to a guy who is supposed to be a leader, who says he lost his passion for the game. Regardless of any circumstantial explanation, you may take that personally. That $5mil coming out of your bank account isn’t theoretical. It’s real $. 

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