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

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23 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

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. 

You're right that this properly belongs over in the ROR trade sucked thread.

To the point above about ROR being 100% ready, willing, and able to stay and help ... I'm just not so sure. He might have been done here -- just spent. And I ain't even mad about it, if so.

12 minutes ago, erickompositör72 said:

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 $. 

Fwiw, I meant "had to be done" from a sort of metaphysical standpoint. Maybe it just had to happen. No avoiding it. I dunno. This is a feeling I have based on the limited facts I've gathered.

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To tie this all back into the thread topic... IMO a lot of the driving force behind the assertions that ROR was a tumor upon franchises and the reason for the Blues' woes was an inherent belief that the Sabres wouldn't make a mistake that big without a good reason. Never mind that there was nothing to glean while we regularly hear of requested trades, drug issues, or mental health and locker room issues from actual players on the same freaking team! It always came back to that in these discussions - "well we obviously did it for a reason!" With a handwave towards the idea that maybe we are bad at identifying what needs to happen to be a good hockey team. A similar handwave to the one that got applied to the supposed nefarious and ill-defined force once "whoops the blues are winning" started happening.

This is not the only place where this sentiment peeked through. I never walked the walk, but in the preseason thread about which team would have a better season, the Bills or the Sabres, I made a post wondering how, even given the dead cap and roster situation of the bills, anyone could think about picking the Sabres. The last I had checked, not one person picked the Bills. And every single interaction with said post was to do anything from question it to laugh at it (not in a disparaging way, mind you, this is not a complaint - people were reasonable and amicable as always). The sentiment for years was, the Bills suck and the Sabres not so much, and that has carried far into a time where the reverse is true - the Pegula Bills are in the middle third of the NFL (I think even still after this past season) in terms of total wins. The Sabres? Since 2013 they lay claim to a stat that even the Cleveland Browns of the 0-16 and 1-15 era through now can say "at least we aren't them." The distance between Sabres and the next worst team in aggregate win total is more than double that between any other two teams in the ranking. Again, not even the Cleveland Browns can lay claim to that level of incompetence. We are essentially the Cleveland Browns until proven otherwise, but nobody wants to believe it, because they all think every season that the Sabres will be better, will be solid, reasonable, will join the rest of the NHL, and it never happens. I wish I walked the walk, but I recall abstaining from voting in that poll, because while the Bills had a real plan in doing so, I was aware of the dead cap and roster problems they had.

And still, they drafted 9th, while the Sabres slotted in 5th last before the lottery. Sabrespace didn't do so well. I just checked the results, and ultimately, two posters had the Bills as better, while twenty six got it wrong, and a couple handfuls said neither. SS whiffed this prediction badly, showing on some level a fundamental disconnect from where our teams actually sit. Because we believe, to some degree higher than we should, in the competence of whatever structure they have put in place since Terry took over. I don't care how many meddling claims get shot down, or explanations about how his obvious inability to understand NHL hockey at anything more than a rudimentary level doesn't impact anything, SOMETHING about the structure hasn't been right. And it's not the "had to do it" sentiment that appears in Aud's post I first responded to. All over, Sabres fans are inclined to make it seem like "well, there was nothing we could do! we just got a rotten luck of the draw, had to trade our Selke player for scraps, had to do this, had to do that!" as if this level of awful was forced upon the poor and helpless, but no, I swear, competent! management structure. (I don't mean to say that Aud is or ever has implied this - but I think this encompasses the 'sabres are good' culture that exists out there and that I'm talking about now.) 

The Sabres are the Cleveland Browns, and it's entirely their own doing, and on some level it can only be traced back to the people at the top,  who have been there the whole time, who sound like they do when trying to talk hockey in interviews, who took the 4th most winning franchise in NHL history and, in the entirety of their tenure, have made it the single worst by twenty three wins. Wouldn't it be nice if Krueger was the jolt we needed? What are the odds he is, versus just another coach that thinks it's good to play the heady vet worst player in the NHL more often than all other players outside of the top line, and reverts to spouting cliches that make his offense the least dangerous in the entire league, before getting canned and casting more doubt on the few pieces left we should have been building competent hockey around the whole time and have abjectly failed to do so, while they're the only part of this organization that has been pulling anything close to their expected weight all along?

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21 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

The Sabres? Since 2013 they lay claim to a stat that even the Cleveland Browns of the 0-16 and 1-15 era through now can say "at least we aren't them." The distance between Sabres and the next worst team in aggregate win total is more than double that between any other two teams in the ranking. Again, not even the Cleveland Browns can lay claim to that level of incompetence. We are essentially the Cleveland Browns until proven otherwise

<>

Sabres fans are inclined to make it seem like "well, there was nothing we could do! we just got a rotten luck of the draw, had to trade our Selke player for scraps, had to do this, had to do that!" as if this level of awful was forced upon the poor and helpless, but no, I swear, competent! management structure. (I don't mean to say that Aud is or ever has implied this - but I think this encompasses the 'sabres are good' culture that exists out there and that I'm talking about now.) 

The Sabres are the Cleveland Browns, and it's entirely their own doing, and on some level it can only be traced back to the people at the top,  who have been there the whole time, who sound like they do when trying to talk hockey in interviews, who took the 4th most winning franchise in NHL history and, in the entirety of their tenure, have made it the single worst by twenty three wins. Wouldn't it be nice if Krueger was the jolt we needed? What are the odds he is, versus just another coach that thinks it's good to play the heady vet worst player in the NHL more often than all other players outside of the top line, and reverts to spouting cliches that make his offense the least dangerous in the entire league, before getting canned and casting more doubt on the few pieces left we should have been building competent hockey around the whole time and have abjectly failed to do so, while they're the only part of this organization that has been pulling anything close to their expected weight all along?

Apotheosis level content there.

I had not thought about the Sabres being worse than the Browns. But I think that's fair.

As for the "it had to be done" line of thinking, I am allowing for the practical reality that the franchise's culture, direction, and stewardship may have made the move inevitable -- not some abstracted, universe-imposed, the fault is in our stars inevitability. My point was that the road they'd traversed together -- the team and that player -- led to that junction, and that a parting of the ways was a reasonable choice at that point. It's not to say that the course that was charted, the operators of the vehicle, navigational choices made, the choice of road side food joints, and so on didn't play a huge role. Because they did.

I think there may be signs of life from the Pegulas when it comes to the Sabres. I've said it several times now, but I'll repeat it here because the context warrants it: I do not have much faith in the Pegulas. They have the money, and they are (or, at least, have been in the past) willing to spend it. As history would teach, that's not enough to build a winner. Often not nearly enough.

Edited by That Aud Smell

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1 minute ago, That Aud Smell said:

I had not thought about the Sabres being worse than the Browns. But I think that's fair.

 

It's probably not a fair comparison to be honest. Simple sample size considerations allow far more variance in NFL records than NHL ones, so I'd shy away from any one-to-one comparisons like I just failed to do except to illustrate that it hasn't been good here. 

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And what makes their ownership of the Bills different than that of the Sabres? I have no idea, but the Bills are far better under the Pegulas than they were beforehand, IMO. I believe in Beane and, to a lesser extent, McDermott, more than any Sabres duo since Lindy and Darcy. That sure helps. The sports are so different in so many ways I don't understand, so I wouldn't feel comfortable speculating other than just noting the stark difference between the two franchises 

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7 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

And what makes their ownership of the Bills different than that of the Sabres? I have no idea, but the Bills are far better under the Pegulas than they were beforehand, IMO. I believe in Beane and, to a lesser extent, McDermott, more than any Sabres duo since Lindy and Darcy. That sure helps. The sports are so different in so many ways I don't understand, so I wouldn't feel comfortable speculating other than just noting the stark difference between the two franchises 

Random chance re: hires made explains this. Assuming the same due diligence  went into both, well, that’s just life.  

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I come at this from two places.  1. Pegula has brought the Sabres no success, but not for a lack of trying.  Incompetence, bad hires, perhaps meddling surely.  

The other sporting love of my life, Arsenal FC, is owned wholly by Stan Kronke.  Made some money through Trumpish shady real estate trading then made most of his money marrying into the Walton family.   Dude literally set up a shell company to pull millions out of the club and into his own pocket for “consulting fees.”  Could not possibly care less what results on the field are.  His fans are paying the highest ticket prices in Europe for a second-rate (if I’m generous) product.  It’s about to bite him as his investment loses money as the club spirals into irrelevance, but he won’t see it fast enough, he’s getting what he wants for now.  

For this reason, I have a lot of time for the Pegulas.  They want to win.  Which is what, at the end of the day, this should be about...  

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1 hour ago, erickompositör72 said:

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 $. 

Except that doesn't account for the rumors that Botterill was shopping O'Reilly at the previous deadline, months before the infamous interview.

Botterill just wanted to move O'Reilly.  He did like his game enough to justify his contract.

He liked the return he got from the Blues. Judging by the amount of ice time Thompson got, he obviously valued him as a prospect. He was also willing to take a couple of salary dumps to get Thompson and draft picks.

The fact that Sobotka wasnt traded, replaced, or sent to Rochester, shows that Botteriil also valued his play.

He wanted an additional 1st round pick to build the pipeline, and the Blues were willing to give him that.

Botterill undervalued O'Reilly, over-valued Thompson, tolerated Sobotka, coveted the 1st round pick and probably never talked to Berglund. 

He liked this deal, and, as a kicker he saved money on O'Reilly's bonus, which appealed to his M.B.A. brain.

This trade is all on Botterill.

 

 

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1 minute ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

LOL!!

Arsenal FC.

LOL!!

That's all.

Have you ever seen Gerrard win the League?

have you ever seen Gerrard win the League? 

Have you ever seen Gerrard, ever seen Gerrard... 

Have you ever seen Gerrard win the league? 

We’ll just go ahead and take the rest of this to the soccer club should you feel froggy enough... 

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1 hour ago, Randall Flagg said:

To tie this all back into the thread topic... IMO a lot of the driving force behind the assertions that ROR was a tumor upon franchises and the reason for the Blues' woes was an inherent belief that the Sabres wouldn't make a mistake that big without a good reason. Never mind that there was nothing to glean while we regularly hear of requested trades, drug issues, or mental health and locker room issues from actual players on the same freaking team! It always came back to that in these discussions - "well we obviously did it for a reason!" With a handwave towards the idea that maybe we are bad at identifying what needs to happen to be a good hockey team.

-snip-

Since 2013 they lay claim to a stat that even the Cleveland Browns of the 0-16 and 1-15 era through now can say "at least we aren't them." The distance between Sabres and the next worst team in aggregate win total is more than double that between any other two teams in the ranking.

-snip-

And still, they drafted 9th, while the Sabres slotted in 5th last before the lottery.

-snip-

The Sabres are the Cleveland Browns, and it's entirely their own doing, and on some level it can only be traced back to the people at the top,  who have been there the whole time, who sound like they do when trying to talk hockey in interviews, who took the 4th most winning franchise in NHL history and, in the entirety of their tenure, have made it the single worst by twenty three wins. 

Wouldn't it be nice if Krueger was the jolt we needed?

-snip-

Good stuff, as always, but...

- 1st par -- This is an oversimplification.  Yes, those of us inclined to defend JB for the trade think there was probably a good reason -- with the most likely factors being some combination of ROR demanding a trade, ROR contributing to a toxic locker room environment and TP instructing JB to get rid of him.  Your underlying assumption continues to be that they could've kept ROR without adverse consequences.  This simply can't be known.  As for the 2nd bolded, @darksabrehas posted multiple times about ROR's issues -- so there is stuff to be gleaned, and, depending on how you feel about Wawrow, Harrington, Vogl, etc., it's about as credible as what there has been to be gleaned about Lehner et al.

- 2nd par -- You are choosing your window to start at the tank, which is of course going to skew the results.  I'm fine with blaming TP for the tank, as it was a stupid and terrible decision (which I suspect he signed off on after it was recommended by Darcy) that has kept the Sabres in the basement as many of us knew it would, but it would be more fair IMHO to have the window coincide either with the day they bought the team or the beginning of Eichel's 1st season.

- 3rd par -- I don't think there is much of a spread between 5th-worst and 9th-worst, or between the quality of the Bills' season last year and the quality of the Sabres' season (although there is IMHO an unjustifiably large spread right now between fans' perceptions of the state of the Bills and the state of the Sabres).

-4th par -- What does the last bolded mean?  That the Sabres have the fewest wins of any franchise since 1970?  And this swung from 4th-best to DFL since TP has been the owner?  Really?

- 5th par -- I sure hope so.

 

1 hour ago, That Aud Smell said:

Apotheosis level content there.

I had not thought about the Sabres being worse than the Browns. But I think that's fair.

As for the "it had to be done" line of thinking, I am allowing for the practical reality that the franchise's culture, direction, and stewardship may have made the move inevitable -- not some abstracted, universe-imposed, the fault is in our stars inevitability. My point was that the road they'd traversed together -- the team and that player -- led to that junction, and that a parting of the ways was a reasonable choice at that point. It's not to say that the course that was charted, the operators of the vehicle, navigational choices made, the choice of road side food joints, and so on didn't play a huge role. Because they did. 

I think there may be signs of life from the Pegulas when it comes to the Sabres. I've said it several times now, but I'll repeat it here because the context warrants it: I do not have much faith in the Pegulas. They have the money, and they are (or, at least, have been in the past) willing to spend it. As history would teach, that's not enough to build a winner. Often not nearly enough.

1st & 2nd bolded -- well said.

3rd bolded -- what is it specifically (other than wins and losses and Kim's continued playing of hard-to-get with message board types) that makes you doubt them?

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23 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

Good stuff, as always, but...

- 1st par -- This is an oversimplification.  Yes, those of us inclined to defend JB for the trade think there was probably a good reason -- with the most likely factors being some combination of ROR demanding a trade, ROR contributing to a toxic locker room environment and TP instructing JB to get rid of him.  Your underlying assumption continues to be that they could've kept ROR without adverse consequences.  This simply can't be known.  As for the 2nd bolded, @darksabrehas posted multiple times about ROR's issues -- so there is stuff to be gleaned, and, depending on how you feel about Wawrow, Harrington, Vogl, etc., it's about as credible as what there has been to be gleaned about Lehner et al.

 - 2nd par -- You are choosing your window to start at the tank, which is of course going to skew the results.  I'm fine with blaming TP for the tank, as it was a stupid and terrible decision (which I suspect he signed off on after it was recommended by Darcy) that has kept the Sabres in the basement as many of us knew it would, but it would be more fair IMHO to have the window coincide either with the day they bought the team or the beginning of Eichel's 1st season.

- 3rd par -- I don't think there is much of a spread between 5th-worst and 9th-worst, or between the quality of the Bills' season last year and the quality of the Sabres' season (although there is IMHO an unjustifiably large spread right now between fans' perceptions of the state of the Bills and the state of the Sabres).

-4th par -- What does the last bolded mean?  That the Sabres have the fewest wins of any franchise since 1970?  And this swung from 4th-best to DFL since TP has been the owner?  Really?

- 5th par -- I sure hope so.

 

1st & 2nd bolded -- well said.

3rd bolded -- what is it specifically (other than wins and losses and Kim's continued playing of hard-to-get with message board types) that makes you doubt them?

Unfortunately, dark's post was ridiculously vague, and of a nature that can be safely assumed to be the case in one or two of any group of 23 individuals, just based on what I remember him saying. Further, it was used in its whole as an explanation for a state of events (the December NHL standings) that is as far from what actually ended up happening as possible - it was evidence for a claim that was so wrong it's actually comical in hindsight, which dramatically reduces the impact of said claim, and dramatically increases the probability that we just got it wrong, whatever "it" is. Which is itself backed up by a recent blue checkmark on twitter indicating that he's heard the belief that Jason has "learned from his mistake" w.r.t. the ROR trade (I know you'll ask me to find it, so I'm looking), which is distinct evidence (in this world where some unidentified person says the most ambiguous things ever and it gets counted as solid evidence when far more tangible things regularly come out of even this organization) that however the events unfolded, the Sabres were the ones that were in the wrong here.

I'll happily eschew the tank - in that case, the Sabres are *checks standings* last place in the NHL in aggregate wins since the tank ended, just like if you include the tank, though it of course isn't by as far. I'll retain my general sentiment (while agreeing with you that the tank sucks balls)

No, I mean that in the group of seasons between 1970 and 2011, the Sabres were 4th in win percentage, and since Terry's first full year (eight full seasons, ~20% of the pre-Terry era), they're DFL. 

Also, even in the Bills' lowest point of Pegs' tenure, they finished above the Sabres in their relative league when no one expected them to, and if you throw out this season, the gap grows quite a bit, and if things go well with one key piece on the Bills, it'll start to grow again. But either way, I don't think the Sabres' struggles have mapped over to the Bills for whatever reason.

Edited by Randall Flagg

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20 hours ago, Briere48 said:

If Pegulas think about getting MLS when they build a new stadium, this might be exactly the guy they will need.

Never thought of that. Good point. Though I wonder how much market there would be for another pro team in town.

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34 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

3rd bolded -- what is it specifically (other than wins and losses and Kim's continued playing of hard-to-get with message board types) that makes you doubt them?

I started to reply before I noticed the second parenthetical. Ha.

I've theorized (pontificated (spit bullsh1t)) about this on here in a few spots. It mostly comes down to my thinking (feeling) that they have (1) questionable decision making criteria and (2) bad instincts. 

One leading example was their decision to hire Rex Ryan. They got totally bamboozled. As part of that process, they allowed a retained sycophant (Russ Brandon) -- whose true colours they did not detect when they evaluated the organization -- to butter both sides of his bread by feeding the bloviating HC candidate key tidbits about the kinds of things that Terry Pegula enjoys and dislikes.

So, again: Bad criteria, worse instincts. Bottom line: I don't think they're that bright.

There are accompanying theories I have on the kind(s) of people the Pegulas are (e.g., largely incurious), but I won't get into them here because it would inevitably infringe on political talk.

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2 hours ago, jad1 said:

Except that doesn't account for the rumors that Botterill was shopping O'Reilly at the previous deadline, months before the infamous interview.

Botterill just wanted to move O'Reilly.  He did like his game enough to justify his contract.

He liked the return he got from the Blues. Judging by the amount of ice time Thompson got, he obviously valued him as a prospect. He was also willing to take a couple of salary dumps to get Thompson and draft picks.

The fact that Sobotka wasnt traded, replaced, or sent to Rochester, shows that Botteriil also valued his play.

He wanted an additional 1st round pick to build the pipeline, and the Blues were willing to give him that.

Botterill undervalued O'Reilly, over-valued Thompson, tolerated Sobotka, coveted the 1st round pick and probably never talked to Berglund. 

He liked this deal, and, as a kicker he saved money on O'Reilly's bonus, which appealed to his M.B.A. brain.

This trade is all on Botterill.

 

 

First bolded- Sabres were shopping Reinhart two year ago, confirmed by someone I know working for another team. Reinhart is still on the Sabres. So I don't see the relevance. Any competent GM will listen to offers from other teams.

Second bolded- sending Sobotka to Rochester would be contingent on Housley not wanting him in the starting lineup. Housley clearly valued his play. How can you conflate that as being a solo JBott decision?

Third bolded- how does savings that won't even count against the cap enhance what he can do from a management perspective?

 

Regardless of the fact that I disagree with all of your speculation, I don't think your other cases are strong, relative to other cases that have been presented.

Edited by erickompositör72

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4 hours ago, PromoTheRobot said:

Never thought of that. Good point. Though I wonder how much market there would be for another pro team in town.

If an MLS team comes to Buffalo, it will be the Jacobs brothers leading the charge.

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22 hours ago, That Aud Smell said:

This is really quite intriguing. 

In an ideal world -- which is one @PASabreFan generally inhabits around these parts -- RaKru would have good success as HC, tap a successor (perhaps even mentor one for a season), and then move into a president's role.

Interesting. But this wouldn't be after one season, right? And what of Jason? If RaKru has success, why is the GM who hired him going to be cut out of the loop?

A scenario I can envision is this: RaKru does a good job and impresses the Pegs, but the roster is so deficient again the team disappoints in the standings once more. Three years for Jason, time to reinvent the wheel. This iteration of Sabres hockey has RaKru in something akin to the role he played at Southampton. The major boulder to move there would be Terry saying to himself, "Well, I tried. Let's try this. I'll stick to football."

22 hours ago, TrueBlueGED said:

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

Not director. More like producer. I just want him to pony up the dough for the film and tell his people to go win a ***** best picture!

Edited by PASabreFan

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2 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

Not director. More like producer. I just want him to pony up the dough for the film and tell his people to go win a ***** best picture!

YMMV with producers. Some are hands off. Some are extremely hands on.

2 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

Interesting. But this wouldn't be after one season, right? And what of Jason? If RaKru has success, why is the GM who hired him going to be cut out of the loop?

A scenario I can envision is this: RaKru does a good job and impresses the Pegs, but the roster is so deficient again the team disappoints in the standings once more. Three years for Jason, time to reinvent the wheel. This iteration of Sabres hockey has RaKru in something akin to the role he played at Southampton. The major boulder to move there would be Terry saying to himself, "Well, I tried. Let's try this. I'll stick to football."

I can see a scenario in which JBOT stays on even with RaKru moving to an administrative role. McDermott the HC essentially hired Beane the GM, after all.

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I can't decide is RaKru is the worst nickname ever put forth or the worst nickname ever put forth. It actually takes longer to type than just saying Ralph or Kruger. It sounds like some anime villain, and worse still it keeps appearing in thread titles. 

Of course it comes from the king of crusades, PA. We have the Pegulas Crusade and now the Kruger (yes ik there is an e) nickname crusade. Oh joy. 

 

Edited by LGR4GM
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22 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

I can't decide is RaKru is the worst nickname ever put forth or the worst nickname ever put forth. It actually takes longer to type than just saying Ralph or Kruger. It sounds like some anime villain, and worse still it keeps appearing in thread titles. 

Of course it comes from the king of crusades, PA. We have the Pegulas Crusade and now the Kruger (yes ik there is an e) nickname crusade. Oh joy. 

 

Krugsie.

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I like Ralph.

Or if I’m watching the playoffs with him in the pub, Ralphie.

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19 minutes ago, MakeSabresGrr8Again said:

Lets just hope that it never becomes "Wreck it Ralph"

Isn't he about 8 years too late for that?

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51 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

I can't decide is RaKru is the worst nickname ever put forth or the worst nickname ever put forth. It actually takes longer to type than just saying Ralph or Kruger. It sounds like some anime villain, and worse still it keeps appearing in thread titles. 

Of course it comes from the king of crusades, PA. We have the Pegulas Crusade and now the Kruger (yes ik there is an e) nickname crusade. Oh joy. 

 

Rahhhhkrooooooooooooooooooo!

howling wolf GIF

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On 7/8/2019 at 12:15 PM, That Aud Smell said:

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.

Leaving aside the general touchiness of this post, as to the bolded -- holy assuming facts not in evidence, Batman!

I would submit that the "track record" to which you refer is wholly theoretical and not in the slightest "demonstrated" or "admitted."  (Citations to prior Sabrespace threads are not admissible as evidence here.)

Also, I was joking about bitter clingers.

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