Jump to content
WildCard

Building a Culture

Recommended Posts

Guy over at TSW posted this athletic article which details how the early 90s Yankees transformed a toxic environment into a winning culture

https://theathletic.com/1110218/2019/08/09/everybodys-kind-of-forgotten-for-the-94-yankees-whose-great-season-was-cut-short-by-a-strike-what-ifs-linger/

The poster pointed out the Bills attempt at the same thing, so it begs the question, as it's obvious the Sabres are trying the same thing, just how important is culture?

Personally, I think it's huge. The issue is identifying where the issues with it actually lie

  • Like (+1) 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, WildCard said:

Guy over at TSW posted this athletic article which details how the early 90s Yankees transformed a toxic environment into a winning culture

https://theathletic.com/1110218/2019/08/09/everybodys-kind-of-forgotten-for-the-94-yankees-whose-great-season-was-cut-short-by-a-strike-what-ifs-linger/

The poster pointed out the Bills attempt at the same thing, so it begs the question, as it's obvious the Sabres are trying the same thing, just how important is culture?

Personally, I think it's huge. The issue is identifying where the issues with it actually lie

Don't know if it's "culture" per se, but teams need leaders that are

1. personally responsible (in games and in team related activities) -  if the rank &  file see the leaders slacking, they will too and if the leaders form clicks, so will the rest;

2. good at the sport - Rob Ray was a leader of the Sabres, & he epitomized the guy who gave it all he had for the team, but the only guys that could truly follow his lead were the Barnaby's.  His being not good at the hockey part of things gave guys like Satan even more reason / justification to slack (IMHO); and

3. willing to take a secondary role when there are others who are in the position to assume the mantle of leader.  The Bickering Bills were led by Devlin &  Smerlas - 2 guys who were perennial AllPros but who were long in the tooth.  That team needed to be Kelly, Smith, Thomas, and Talley's and it couldn't become that with those other guys in the room.  (Again, IMHO.). When it looked like the Bills were going to take a step back losing guys like Devlin, Smerlas, and Shell; it actually propelled them forward as the guys that were coming into their own took over.

The Sabres coming out of the lockout had been turned over to Drury & Briere.  And one of the 1st things Drury did after the lockout was tell management to lose Satan.  He wouldn't get with the program and was a net negative on the team.  There's no way Ray could've talked management into getting rid of him.  He didn't have the skill to go with the drive.  Teppo didn't try to Lord over the D, he provided leadership and mentoring and left the captioning to guys like McKee.

And Biron could've been a huge distraction, but instead he was a glue guy for that 1st Conference Final run.

And it can't be overlooked how important it is to get rid of bad apples.  But, you need to be able to properly identify those.  Sending someone out that doesn't need to go, can also set the culture back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Don't know if it's "culture" per se, but teams need leaders that are

1. personally responsible (in games and in team related activities) -  if the rank &  file see the leaders slacking, they will too and if the leaders form clicks, so will the rest;

2. good at the sport - Rob Ray was a leader of the Sabres, & he epitomized the guy who gave it all he had for the team, but the only guys that could truly follow his lead were the Barnaby's.  His being not good at the hockey part of things gave guys like Satan even more reason / justification to slack (IMHO); and

3. willing to take a secondary role when there are others who are in the position to assume the mantle of leader.  The Bickering Bills were led by Devlin &  Smerlas - 2 guys who were perennial AllPros but who were long in the tooth.  That team needed to be Kelly, Smith, Thomas, and Talley's and it couldn't become that with those other guys in the room.  (Again, IMHO.). When it looked like the Bills were going to take a step back losing guys like Devlin, Smerlas, and Shell; it actually propelled them forward as the guys that were coming into their own took over.

The Sabres coming out of the lockout had been turned over to Drury & Briere.  And one of the 1st things Drury did after the lockout was tell management to lose Satan.  He wouldn't get with the program and was a net negative on the team.  There's no way Ray could've talked management into getting rid of him.  He didn't have the skill to go with the drive.  Teppo didn't try to Lord over the D, he provided leadership and mentoring and left the captioning to guys like McKee.

And Biron could've been a huge distraction, but instead he was a glue guy for that 1st Conference Final run.

And it can't be overlooked how important it is to get rid of bad apples.  But, you need to be able to properly identify those.  Sending someone out that doesn't need to go, can also set the culture back.

So were Lehner, O’Reilly and Kane the Devlin and Smerlas of the recent Sabres?

Gorges and Gionta the Rays?

Can Skinner Reinhart and Eichel be Kelly and Talley and Thomas? Can Hutton be Biron? Bogosian Teppo?

Where does Risto fit?

 

For the record I’m a firm believer in all this stuff. Culture is just the modern buzzword for becoming a team.

Don’t know if Botterill is making the right moves, but it is clear to me he firmly believes in culture and it has powered a lot of his moves.

Edited by dudacek
  • Like (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Culture is massively important.  However JBot misidentified ROR as the cancer in the room.  Ralph though is THE CULTUREguy for sure.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Edited by Gatorman0519
  • Awesome! (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, dudacek said:

So were Lehner, O’Reilly and Kane the Devlin and Smerlas of the recent Sabres?

Gorges and Gionta the Rays?

Can Skinner Reinhart and Eichel be Kelly and Talley and Thomas? Can Hutton be Biron? Bogosian Teppo?

Where does Risto fit?

 

For the record I’m a firm believer in all this stuff. Culture is just the modern buzzword for becoming a team.

Don’t know if Botterill is making the right moves, but it is clear to me he firmly believes in culture and it has powered a lot of his moves.

Yeah, culture without talent doesn't work.  It was easier for Drury to build culture with a coach like Ruff and a player like Vanek on the third line, than it is for Eichel with Housely and Sobotka.

The Bills were bickering not because of Devlin or Smerlas, but because Kelly was feuding with Thomas and Smith.  Even the coaching staff was dysfunctional.

The team was good, but needed focus, and that came when they installed the no-huddle offense. 

Talent improves a team and culture hones it.  Botterill seems to be skipping the talent step, which explains his record.

 

  • Like (+1) 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, jad1 said:

Yeah, culture without talent doesn't work.  It was easier for Drury to build culture with a coach like Ruff and a player like Vanek on the third line, than it is for Eichel with Housely and Sobotka.

The Bills were bickering not because of Devlin or Smerlas, but because Kelly was feuding with Thomas and Smith.  Even the coaching staff was dysfunctional.

The team was good, but needed focus, and that came when they installed the no-huddle offense. 

Talent improves a team and culture hones it.  Botterill seems to be skipping the talent step, which explains his record.

 

yes talent and culture go together... we have neither 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, WildCard said:

Guy over at TSW posted this athletic article which details how the early 90s Yankees transformed a toxic environment into a winning culture

https://theathletic.com/1110218/2019/08/09/everybodys-kind-of-forgotten-for-the-94-yankees-whose-great-season-was-cut-short-by-a-strike-what-ifs-linger/

The poster pointed out the Bills attempt at the same thing, so it begs the question, as it's obvious the Sabres are trying the same thing, just how important is culture?

Personally, I think it's huge. The issue is identifying where the issues with it actually lie

I refuse to click on anything Yankees related but me thinks their culture had something to do with the dozen or so HOF players they had on their roster. 

  • Thanks (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, inkman said:

I refuse to click on anything Yankees related but me thinks their culture had something to do with the dozen or so HOF players they had on their roster. 

Well if you read the article you'd see how they became HOF players 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, WildCard said:

Well if you read the article you'd see how they became HOF players 

Talent?

  • Like (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dudacek said:

So were Lehner, O’Reilly and Kane the Devlin and Smerlas of the recent Sabres?

Gorges and Gionta the Rays?

Can Skinner Reinhart and Eichel be Kelly and Talley and Thomas? Can Hutton be Biron? Bogosian Teppo?

Where does Risto fit?

 

For the record I’m a firm believer in all this stuff. Culture is just the modern buzzword for becoming a team.

Don’t know if Botterill is making the right moves, but it is clear to me he firmly believes in culture and it has powered a lot of his moves.

Good Q's.  Not sure if the Sabres had a Devlin or Smerlas, simply because the team had jettisoned just about anybody that could've been in those roles during the tank.

Kind of see O'Reilly as having been 1/2 of a Flutie/Johnson dynamic with Johnson not realizing they had that sort of a relationship.  Which could've been a significant factor in having Botterill agree that the team could LTbe better trading Ryan, but that got torpedoed when it would appear that Pegula insisted he be traded before the signing bonus was due.

Interesting (& good) call on Gionta and Gorges being "Ray's"; both were too long in the tooth to be anything more than role players during most of their tenure in Buffalo and both clearly were officially in a leadership role.

Almost see Ullmark in the Biron role as I expect he'll take over as the placeholder starter until Luukkonnen is ready to step up beyond him.  But really, both goalies seem to have the personality to be Biron should the team need that.

Bogosian could be Teppo. Kind of think that if he isn't traded, they'll need Ristolainen to fill that role as if the team will be winning he'll have to step back from being THE D-man. That's already going to be Dahlin 's role and Montour should be leaned on more than him as well.

Eichel needs to be Kelly, but not sure he has the right personality.  See Reinhart as Talley but that also seems to fit Eichel's personality as well.  (Maybe they can make 2 Talley 's work.) Skinner is definitely Thomas in all this.  Don't know who Smith or Bennett are.  Hoping Dahlin is Tasker, or better yet, Hull.

Hoping Krueger can handle X's &  O's better than Levy; but if this team is full of young Bills, Marc's ability to keep the huge egos on the same page would be useful.  Especially if he can find a Marchibroda that sticks around & doesn't hire a Dickerson.

Maybe Mittelstadt ends up Tasker?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, WildCard said:

Well if you read the article you'd see how they became HOF players 

Developed as good/great players by other teams, then signing lucrative contracts with New York?

 

In 1996:  Tino Martinez, Wade Boggs, Paul O’Neil, Tim Raines, Daryl Strawberry, Cecil Fielder, David Cone, John Wetteland 

They did develop a Jeter, Bernie Williams, Pettite, Rivera

 

In 1998: T. Martinez, Chuck Knoblauch, O’Neil, Strawberry, Scott Brosius, Raines, Chili Davis, David Wells, Cone, Orlando Hernandez

Developed:  Posada, Jeter, Bernie Williams, Pettite, Rivera

 

In 2000:  T. Martinez, Knoblauch, O’Neil, David Justice, Roger Clemens, Cone, Orlando Hernandez

Developed:  Posada, Jeter, Bernie Williams, Pettite, Rivera

 

Literally, the only above average players from those teams who were developed were Posada, Jeter, Williams, Pettite, Rivera.  Which is great, because those are amazing players.  But it’s not so hard to develop a winning culture when you are regularly bringing in All Star/HoF level players to fill out holes in the roster: T. Martinez, Boggs, O’Neil, Raines, Strawberry, Fielder, Knoblauch, D. Justice, Scott Brosius, Chili Davis, Clemens, Cone, Wells, Wetteland, O. Hernandez.  Only 3-4 teams in the league could bring in that type of supporting cast.

Edited by Curt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Curt said:

Developed as good/great players by other teams, then signing lucrative contracts with New York?

 

In 1996:  Tino Martinez, Wade Boggs, Paul O’Neil, Tim Raines, Daryl Strawberry, Cecil Fielder, David Cone, John Wetteland 

They did develop a Jeter, Bernie Williams, Pettite, Rivera

 

In 1998: T. Martinez, Chuck Knoblauch, O’Neil, Strawberry, Scott Brosius, Raines, Chili Davis, David Wells, Cone, Orlando Hernandez

Developed:  Posada, Jeter, Bernie Williams, Pettite, Rivera

 

In 2000:  T. Martinez, Knoblauch, O’Neil, David Justice, Roger Clemens, Cone, Orlando Hernandez

Developed:  Posada, Jeter, Bernie Williams, Pettite, Rivera

 

Literally, the only above average players from those teams who were developed were Posada, Jeter, Williams, Pettite, Rivera.  Which is great, because those are amazing players.  But it’s not so hard to develop a winning culture when you are bringing in All Star/HoF level players on the regular: T. Martinez, Boggs, O’Neil, Raines, Strawberry, Fielder, Knoblauch, D. Justice, Scott Brosius, Chili Davis, Clemens, Cone, Wells, Wetteland, O. Hernandez.  Only 3-4 teams in the league could bring in that type of supporting cast

Yeah this isn't a debate about the Yankees

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, WildCard said:

Yeah this isn't a debate about the Yankees

Grrrrrr.  I just think it’s borderline pointless to look to the Yankees on how to build a winning culture.  They are in a non-comparable situation.

  • Like (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to wanna play for the guy next to you and the culture helps cultivate those relationships. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Culture is a byproduct of winning, not the other way around. 

  • Like (+1) 1
  • Thanks (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone put the old Sabres-Sens Brawl's entire game on YouTube

Why am I mentioning this here?

Because this is where culture and skill meet. 

 

Culture has become some kind of amorphous buzzword but what it really should encapsulate is the unity of a team's players. Skill is vital to a successful team but so is this unity where everyone from skill players to 4th liners play for each other and fill whatever roles they need to for the betterment of the team.

Just look at Drew Stafford, he was never a truly great player, and never was all that physical but when his teammates were attacked he would fight anyone to stand up for them. 

One thing that worries me about trading Risto is, beside Eichel being known to get rough with those who try to hurt Reinhart, our sheer lack of any physical presence and our lack of non-physical players actually playing out of their element when the situation demands it.  

If Eichel or Skinner were headshot by a grinder who on this team would actually chase said player down? Its not a fact of winning the fight; its the showing that you give a damn and no one goes after our captain or one of our stars. Now you don't want them to fly off the handle, but in the situation above you need players throughout the lineup to play just that much more physical. That doesn't mean we need grinders and fighters; it just means we need the guys like the Shearys and Veseys to throw a body check and not play scared.  

7 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Culture is a byproduct of winning, not the other way around. 

I disagree, a good culture will make a mediocre team good. It's when a skilled team, that has a unified front, comes to the ice that you see Stanley Cup contention.   

Culture is the mortar on the bricks(players) which forms a wall. Winning and success is said mortar drying and solidifying. A skilled team with no mortar is merely a pile of bricks; it can stand on its own but give it enough of a push and it will topple.

The Sabres problems can be summed up as having badly made bricks, nice bricks, limited mortar, and little to no dry weather. 

  

  • Like (+1) 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope they get enough Petri dishes.

  • Haha (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, thewookie1 said:

Someone put the old Sabres-Sens Brawl's entire game on YouTube

I don't want him back, but I miss Lindy.  What a players' coach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, dudacek said:

So were Lehner, O’Reilly and Kane the Devlin and Smerlas of the recent Sabres?

Gorges and Gionta the Rays?

Can Skinner Reinhart and Eichel be Kelly and Talley and Thomas? Can Hutton be Biron? Bogosian Teppo?

Where does Risto fit?

 

For the record I’m a firm believer in all this stuff. Culture is just the modern buzzword for becoming a team.

Don’t know if Botterill is making the right moves, but it is clear to me he firmly believes in culture and it has powered a lot of his moves.

In a suitcase headed for someone willing to give a 2C.

I think JBott is figuring things out as far as wheeling and dealing. I think he will point us in the right general direction but someone else will come in to put the final pieces in. I may be wrong.

As far as culture goes I would be happy with the Sabres being known as a speed team with creativity. Sorry Pommers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my opinion of this team's culture problems:

1. First and foremost, the head coaches here (Bylsma and Housley) have been really poor at communicating. Hopefully Krueger is different.

2. Player acquisition has predominantly focused on skill and raw physical talent at the expense of the more mental/personality attributes of physicality and grit. Botterill still needs to balance the roster out with more piano movers to complement the piano players (to use a phrase I've heard in soccer).

3. The younger core (everyone 27 and under) doesn't seem to have the requisite work ethic and mental focus for making deep NHL playoff runs. Many of these guys (Skinner, Eichel, Reinhart, Ristolainen, McCabe, Girgensons, Larsson, Rodrigues) have never even been a part of an NHL playoff team and probably don't know what it really takes to endure the marathon that is an NHL season.

4. The older vets (28 and over) who are supposed to be providing a lot of the leadership on this roster are simply atrocious, both on the ice and in the locker room. I'm okay with Johansson and Hutton, but Okposo, Bogosian, Scandella, Hunwick, and Sobotka should be jettisoned and replaced with better vets as soon as possible. Okposo and Bogosian wear the "A" but are too easygoing in personality to hold such default roster leadership positions on this particularly youth-heavy roster.

Edited by Marchand'sNose
  • Like (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Thorny said:

Culture is a byproduct of winning, not the other way around. 

Disagree... culture starts first... winning is a result... played on too many different teams in different sports... probably my best example was a club soccer team played on in High School.. We were decent, really got along, but didnt have any superstars and would get intimidated by either bigger teams or teams with a couple of skilled players. So we would often get down in the first half early in the season til because we played team defense and offense and we were not selfish just inexperienced something would click in the second half... we enjoyed playing together and we would just put our heads down and go to work.  We didnt win all the games we came back in but as the season went on we started better and won most of our games toward end of the season.

Why? Because we basically said screw it, lets work... play together and see what happens... I had speed played wing and though not greatly skilled could chase down any ball in the corner and cross it to my forwards or center halfs.  This was our bail out defensive play and was effective switching the field.  Bottom line is we found what worked for us and just hustled... The best teams in that league hated playing us because they had to play the whole game and knew they were in for a fight... that is what I want to see out of the Sabres.

Edited by North Buffalo
  • Like (+1) 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Marchand'sNose said:

Here's my opinion of this team's culture problems:

1. First and foremost, the head coaches here (Bylsma and Housley) have been really poor at communicating. Hopefully Krueger is different.

2. Player acquisition has predominantly focused on skill and raw physical talent at the expense of the more mental/personality attributes of physicality and grit. Botterill still needs to balance the roster out with more piano movers to complement the piano players (to use a phrase I've heard in soccer).

3. The younger core (everyone 27 and under) doesn't seem to have the requisite work ethic and mental focus for making deep NHL playoff runs. Many of these guys (Skinner, Eichel, Reinhart, Ristolainen, McCabe, Girgensons, Larsson, Rodrigues) have never even been a part of an NHL playoff team and probably don't know what it really takes to endure the marathon that is an NHL season.

4. The older vets (28 and over) who are supposed to be providing a lot of the leadership on this roster are simply atrocious, both on the ice and in the locker room. I'm okay with Johansson and Hutton, but Okposo, Bogosian, Scandella, Hunwick, and Sobotka should be jettisoned and replaced with better vets as soon as possible. Okposo and Bogosian wear the "A" but are too easygoing in personality to hold such default roster leadership positions on this particularly youth-heavy roster.

It's going to take a strong coach to turn this thing around.  That goes even with better talent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Culture comes from winning and having guys in the locker room committed to winning and an organization holding players, scouts, coaches and managers accountable.  Jot is doing just that, he just needs to get some wins.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Culture comes from winning and having guys in the locker room committed to winning and an organization holding players, scouts, coaches and managers accountable.  Jot is doing just that, he just needs to get some wins.  

Well how do you start winning then? Culture has to start before winning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...