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LGR4GM

This Sabres losing culture nonsense needs to go, it's BS

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It is complete and total garbage perpetuated by everyone around here. The team is bad because of their "culture". No the team is ***** bad because they keep bringing in mediocre players who can't create offense. If it was "culture" than how come we see the same talented players succeed here each year? Where is there culture of sucking. How come ROR is still just as good in St Louis? Because this entire ***** that some magical culture revolution is going to change this team has become a crutch to explain away why this team is just garbage. They are garbage because Sheary, Vesey, Sobotka, Erod, WIlson, Frolik, and even Mojo were brought in and they are not good enough at creating offense. I just listed 5 forwards that do almost nothing to create offense and a couple more who sometimes do. That's why we ***** lose. It isn't because we lost for a year or two and now it is acceptable or whatever fairytale you want to believe. We suck because our GM has added offensive passengers to the team for years with no end in sight. The result is a talent devoid team that misses wide open nets and is last in the league in creating good scoring chances. We suck because we are bad and every ***** time one of you uses the trash excuse for culture, you are creating a culture but not of losing being acceptable but allowing excuses to be acceptable and allowing accountability to be hoisted off on some mythical fairytale. The team sucks because they are not talented, they don't suck because it is okay to lose. 

end rant. 

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***** this place. When this team stops bringing in crappy offense passengers and starts seriously drafting based on talent over Botterill's bull about development time and needing ALLLLLLLL the defenders regardless of how talented they are, then shockingly the "culture" will change because the team will be more ***** talented. Holy hell, I am ***** out. Take your loser ***** excuses and shove them into the talent-less chasm that is the Buffalo Sabres. 

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Losing culture can be a thing. This board tends to use it as a reason for sucking, when it actually is a product of sucking.

It is my perception that the Botterill/Krueger Sabres have taken a lot of steps to rid the Sabres of a losing culture in terms of implementing a positive workplace with “good” people and practices. But they haven’t taken the most important step: acquiring enough good players. It hasn’t helped that the bottom completely fell out on Hutton and Skinner.

By and large this year’s Sabres are what their talent level says they should be.

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1 minute ago, dudacek said:

Losing culture can be a thing. This board tends to use it as a reason for sucking, when it actually is a product of sucking.

It is my perception that the Botterill/Krueger Sabres have taken a lot of steps to rid the Sabres of a losing culture in terms of implementing a positive workplace with “good” people and practices. But they haven’t taken the most important step: acquiring enough good players. It hasn’t helped that the bottom completely fell out on Hutton and Skinner.

By and large this year’s Sabres are what their talent level says they should be.

Said it before and I'll say it again, McBean did the same exact thing.

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It's not BS. 

It's what the idiotic decision to tank has led to.

Good players want to leave and don't want to come to here in the first place.

To wit:

H3eNLunE_bigger.jpg
 
 
Buffalo was on Zucker’s no trade list.
 
 
 
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A little perspective:  The whole culture discussion here on SS has no, repeat, no effect on the team.  Nothing we do here on SS has any effect on the team (or at best, a marginal effect if people associated with the team actually read the forum, and even if they do, it's doubtful it drives any decisions). 

It's just a way for some people to try to explain why we suck.  And because it's an intangible, each person can decide what it means.

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22 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

It's not BS. 

It's what the idiotic decision to tank has led to.

Good players want to leave and don't want to come to here in the first place.

To wit:

H3eNLunE_bigger.jpg
 
 
Buffalo was on Zucker’s no trade list.
 
 
 

It's what a series of idiotic decisions by the ownership led to.  You can call it precipitated by the "tank" but the decisions to bring in Bylsma and Murray and fire LaFontaine were the precursors. Then the desire to stop tanking overnight by bringing players and trading away prospects and picks... then realizing your boozehound GM and bad choice at coach needed to go...

It's been a series of events and not any one in particular that caused this problem.  It's a continual go left, go right, mentality.  It's disruptive to everything and in the NHL it takes awhile to recover from that.  It just does.

The last point is the most salient.  The instability and continued lack of success has led players to NOT want to be here.  There is nothing any GM can do about that. I don't think they don't want to be here because of the GM, I think its because of the owner.  Because of the lack of success. The same reason players don't want to come here is the same reason fans are all out sorts.  Losing is not easy to overcome.  It takes a specific mindset to accept the position and then want to be part of turning that around.  Given the choice between a winning team and a losing team, not many are going to opt for the losing team (not those with options).  It's how it goes.

You don't build a brand as a winner by constantly playing/working for a loser. 

Overall, out of the gate, I think players come in refreshed and ready to try and turn things around.  At this point in the season you are seeing fatigue of trying to be positive all the time set in.  Jack looks nothing like he did a month ago.  He looks checked out.  He's frustrated.  Others are too.. it's why Reinhart spoke up.  The players, owners, fans, and GM are all frustrated.  It's one big downward spiral.  It's what consumed Buffalo last year and is going so again this year.

It's going to get worse before it gets better.  Because barring a miracle, no trades are going to go Buffalo's way. 

 

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35 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

A little perspective:  The whole culture discussion here on SS has no, repeat, no effect on the team.  Nothing we do here on SS has any effect on the team (or at best, a marginal effect if people associated with the team actually read the forum, and even if they do, it's doubtful it drives any decisions). 

It's just a way for some people to try to explain why we suck.  And because it's an intangible, each person can decide what it means.

Except it does. Hockey players don't work in a vacuum

It's part of the "noise" players have to screen out and fight through. It's no different than the trope of the kid from the wrong side of the tracks who is expected to fail and treated like he is going to fail because of where he comes from. It creates expectations and feeds them. And it is something that must be overcome. Do these Sabres believe in their leadership and their teammates? Do they have the support of their organization and their community? Do they want to be here? Should they? Is this team worth the sacrifice? Whether they should be or not, these things are relevant.

I used to read a lot of stuff on here about how the perception of the city hurt the franchise, coupled with arguments over how real that perception was, whether it was deserved, and how much effect it has. This "losing culture" thing is similar.

Edited by dudacek
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14 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Except it does. Hockey players don't work in a vacuum

It's part of the "noise" players have to screen out and fight through. It's no different than the trope of the kid from the wrong side of the tracks who is expected to fail and treated like he is going to fail because of where he comes from. It creates expectations and feeds them. And it is something that must be overcome. Do these Sabres believe in their leadership and their teammates? Do they have the support of their organization and their community? Do they want to be here? Should they? Is this team worth the sacrifice? Whether they should be or not, these things are relevant.

I used to read a lot of stuff on here about how the perception of the city hurt the franchise, coupled with arguments over how real that perception was, whether it was deserved, and how much effect it has. This "losing culture" thing is similar.

That's the question we should be asking more often, to be honest.

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I agree with alot of what the original poster said. Talent creates a culture too. The Sabres just do not have the talent needed to take the next step.

I know we spend a lot of time focused on the #2 center situation, secondary scoring, and the overabundance of average defenseman we have (all very valid points BTW), but one of the staples of the Sabres since their inception for the most part has been strong goaltending: Don Edwards, Barrasso, Sauve, Puppa, Fuhr, Hasek, Biron and Ryan Miller: Since Miller left stage right via trade, the Sabres haven't come close to replacing any of the goalies mentioned.

I know we are waiting for UPL, but can this franchise afford to wait that long?

Edited by Ruff Around The Edges
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35 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Do these Sabres believe in their leadership and their teammates? Do they have the support of their organization and their community? Do they want to be here? Should they? Is this team worth the sacrifice? Whether they should be or not, these things are relevant.

Yes, this is all relevant.  Our opinion of it, isn't.

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41 minutes ago, LTS said:

It's what a series of idiotic decisions by the ownership led to.  You can call it precipitated by the "tank" but the decisions to bring in Bylsma and Murray and fire LaFontaine were the precursors. Then the desire to stop tanking overnight by bringing players and trading away prospects and picks... then realizing your boozehound GM and bad choice at coach needed to go...

It's been a series of events and not any one in particular that caused this problem.  It's a continual go left, go right, mentality.  It's disruptive to everything and in the NHL it takes awhile to recover from that.  It just does.

The last point is the most salient.  The instability and continued lack of success has led players to NOT want to be here.  There is nothing any GM can do about that. I don't think they don't want to be here because of the GM, I think its because of the owner.  Because of the lack of success. The same reason players don't want to come here is the same reason fans are all out sorts.  Losing is not easy to overcome.  It takes a specific mindset to accept the position and then want to be part of turning that around.  Given the choice between a winning team and a losing team, not many are going to opt for the losing team (not those with options).  It's how it goes.

You don't build a brand as a winner by constantly playing/working for a loser. 

Overall, out of the gate, I think players come in refreshed and ready to try and turn things around.  At this point in the season you are seeing fatigue of trying to be positive all the time set in.  Jack looks nothing like he did a month ago.  He looks checked out.  He's frustrated.  Others are too.. it's why Reinhart spoke up.  The players, owners, fans, and GM are all frustrated.  It's one big downward spiral.  It's what consumed Buffalo last year and is going so again this year.

It's going to get worse before it gets better.  Because barring a miracle, no trades are going to go Buffalo's way. 

 

Good post.  I agree with a lot of this.  I wouldn't say it was "precipitated" by the tank so much as I would say "primarily caused" by the tank, but certainly it's true that a lot of missteps have contributed to the current CF.

 

19 minutes ago, Ruff Around The Edges said:

I agree with alot of what the original poster said. Talent creates a culture too. The Sabres just do not have the talent needed to take the next step.

I know we spend a lot of time focused on the #2 center situation, secondary scoring, and the overabundance of average defenseman we have (all very valid points BTW), but one of the staples of the Sabres since their inception for the most part has been strong goaltending: Don Edwards, Barrasso, Sauve, Puppa, Fuhr, Hasek, Biron and Ryan Miller: Since Miller left stage right via trade, the Sabres haven't come close to replacing any of the goalies mentioned.

I know we are waiting for UPL, but can this franchise afford to wait that long?

And this is one of the major missteps, and one that I was particularly concerned about last summer.  The Sabres were dying for strong goaltending, but JB opted to bring back the same 2 guys who weren't remotely good enough last year.  As a team with limited offense that is struggling to break out of losing quicksand, they absolutely had to have much better goaltending.  It really concerns me that JB didn't recognize that and fix it.

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On the other hand, JBot comes into this situation without intrinsic knowledge of Sabres history and is (apparently) building the team based on his priorities, not Sabres tradition.

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1 hour ago, nfreeman said:

Good post.  I agree with a lot of this.  I wouldn't say it was "precipitated" by the tank so much as I would say "primarily caused" by the tank, but certainly it's true that a lot of missteps have contributed to the current CF.

 

And this is one of the major missteps, and one that I was particularly concerned about last summer.  The Sabres were dying for strong goaltending, but JB opted to bring back the same 2 guys who weren't remotely good enough last year.  As a team with limited offense that is struggling to break out of losing quicksand, they absolutely had to have much better goaltending.  It really concerns me that JB didn't recognize that and fix it.

Here's the thing.  Trading away those assets that started the tank wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  The team obtained the components it needed to start a rebuild.  The problem was then taking those assets and using them to acquire players that aren't even here anymore.  It basically wasted 3-5 years of this franchises existence.

I know you hate the tank.  I'm not sure I loved the concept, but trading those players was the kind of direct, decisive move, that people want from Botterill right now.  And of course the Sabres had talented players to trade away back then. They don't now.

Meh.. the history is the history.  I don't worry about it.  This off-season is what matters to me.  Everything that happens between now and Oct. 6 2020 will let me know if I need to concern myself with Sabres hockey for the next few years... 🙂

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9 minutes ago, LTS said:

Trading away those assets that started the tank wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  The team obtained the components it needed to start a rebuild.  The problem was then taking those assets and using them to acquire players that aren't even here anymore.  It basically wasted 3-5 years of this franchises existence.

Summarized for response. This is exactly what's happened --- the rebuilding pieces have churned because the teardown went well. We got Eichel. We lucked into #1 for Dahlin. But otherwise, classic example: Vanek. We got a ton for Vanek. Years later, Vanek was a net loss.

Here's what we turned Vanek into:

G Lehner (1G, except needed to clean up himself and couldn't do that here); 4C Legwand - our last positive season was with him because he was a cagey center and our center spine was ROR,Eichel,Larry,Leggy- retired; 3LW Moulson (at the time; but then we re-signed him to a murderous contract); D Guhle; C McCormick (retired); F Nevins (enforcer?); F Glotov (7th rounder, no expectation); C Cornel (2nd, AHL only); D Martin (where is he now?); 5D Gorges (suitable guy who was... good against McDavid!)- retired. We never moved any of these guys for something, even as a rental, to recoup assets.

The only asset that became something else is Guhle who was included in a trade for Montour. So Vanek + (SJ1st for Kane) = Montour.

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29 minutes ago, LTS said:

Here's the thing.  Trading away those assets that started the tank wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  The team obtained the components it needed to start a rebuild.  The problem was then taking those assets and using them to acquire players that aren't even here anymore.  It basically wasted 3-5 years of this franchises existence.

I know you hate the tank.  I'm not sure I loved the concept, but trading those players was the kind of direct, decisive move, that people want from Botterill right now.  And of course the Sabres had talented players to trade away back then. They don't now.

Meh.. the history is the history.  I don't worry about it.  This off-season is what matters to me.  Everything that happens between now and Oct. 6 2020 will let me know if I need to concern myself with Sabres hockey for the next few years... 🙂

Well, a move can be direct and decisive but still ill-conceived and disastrous -- kinda like the tank.

And while it doesn't really matter anymore, it does kinda matter because there is a disturbingly high number of people who still think it was the right move, and who therefore would support doing it again.

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4 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

It is complete and total garbage perpetuated by everyone around here. The team is bad because of their "culture". No the team is ***** bad because they keep bringing in mediocre players who can't create offense. If it was "culture" than how come we see the same talented players succeed here each year? Where is there culture of sucking. How come ROR is still just as good in St Louis? Because this entire ***** that some magical culture revolution is going to change this team has become a crutch to explain away why this team is just garbage. They are garbage because Sheary, Vesey, Sobotka, Erod, WIlson, Frolik, and even Mojo were brought in and they are not good enough at creating offense. I just listed 5 forwards that do almost nothing to create offense and a couple more who sometimes do. That's why we ***** lose. It isn't because we lost for a year or two and now it is acceptable or whatever fairytale you want to believe. We suck because our GM has added offensive passengers to the team for years with no end in sight. The result is a talent devoid team that misses wide open nets and is last in the league in creating good scoring chances. We suck because we are bad and every ***** time one of you uses the trash excuse for culture, you are creating a culture but not of losing being acceptable but allowing excuses to be acceptable and allowing accountability to be hoisted off on some mythical fairytale. The team sucks because they are not talented, they don't suck because it is okay to lose. 

end rant. 

This is just simply not true.  If you have the same people who have done nothing but lost, they develop bad attitudes, bad habits and lack of caring because they think no matter what they do the result will be the same and it saps their will and energy.  When things go wrong, they expect to lose.  When they are up 2 goals and the other team scores, they expect the other other team to tie it.  On and on... that's culture...the mindset of the team...the competitive nature of the team...the mental toughness of the team.  All of that is severely hurt when a team loses for a long time and players just shut down and stop caring because it hurts less. It's almost like a protective mechanism for their psyche.  

So saying there is no such thing as bad culture is just plain wrong.  If players are brought into a winning environment they either get with the program or they get gone.  There is no such pressure for players joining a losing environment because the players already there aren't holding themselves or anyone else accountable. Peer pressure is a mother and if its not there the team is in trouble.  If a player knows he can just take shifts off and nobody is going to say anything because nobody cares, that matters.  

Just like if you know you can do things at work and your boss doesn't care you take advantage of it, but if he came by your desk 5 times a day looking to make sure you were doing these things, you would be on top of it.  It's the same thing.

Yes, good players help, but good players alone cannot fix a bad culture---how is that working for the Oilers who have the top 2 players in terms of points in the NHL?  it takes a lot more than that, it takes getting the wrong people off the team before bringing the right people on the team so the players who don't care or don't want to change won't poison anyone else on the team.  Look at what the Bills did...they got rid of a lot of good players initially to make sure the players that were there fit with what they wanted to do.  And it worked!

Edited by matter2003
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it's a losing culture only because we keep losing...it's a terribly run organization plagued by bad decisions

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3 hours ago, nfreeman said:

It's not BS. 

It's what the idiotic decision to tank has led to.

Good players want to leave and don't want to come to here in the first place.

To wit:

H3eNLunE_bigger.jpg
 
 
Buffalo was on Zucker’s no trade list.
 
 
 

I can't just automatically label that as not wanting to go to Buffalo because they suck.  Buffalo still has that "Buffalo" reputation and no matter how much we say to counter that, we still see that same "worst destinations" player poll result pop up every single year.  That reputation is always going to exist.  Sure, some will be impacted by the long streak of horrible results, but it's tough to know each individual's true reasons.

When it comes to Zucker, he's a California kid.  I wouldn't be surprised if that's the exact person who has that negative view of Buffalo.

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Quickie ... I don’t think it’s a talent vs culture issue in the either/or sense of debate.  It’s both.  Skills exist in settings.  They feed one another.  I think of a robust seed dropped into fertile ground when I think talent and culture.

Greater talent can overcome lesser culture, and vice versa.  Less talent can erode culture, etc.

There are career parallels between what I do and what hockey people do.  I’ve been a player, coach and GM.  I’ve moved up and down the continuum.  Better talent has always been an obvious desire in business.  I have tremendous empathy for the Bylsmas, the Housleys, the Botterills.  “How would I make an impact?”

Culture’s gotten recognition the last twenty years, or so.

Picking talent is easy relative to building a culture.  Early in my career, I worried little about culture.  I’m old school.  Culture was doing what my boss told me to do.  It worked for me.  I performed, got promoted, and told others what to do.  Simple, huh?  I had great success.  I also had monumental failure.

I’m more in tune with culture, now.  I stopped telling people what to do.  I began showing them what to do.  When you show, those who are engaged opt in and thrive.  Those who aren’t engaged opt out and go elsewhere.  I “feel” Krueger and like him.  Ten years ago, I was Ted Nolan (work harder) or Brian Burke (do what I tell you to do).

I took a new job in August after interviewing for two months.  I was asked about credentials, expertise and business models for a few hours over a few days.  I was hired after the firm learned my view on culture and asked me what I would build.  That conversation took weeks and involved me flying around and meeting leaders in other lines of business.  They don’t share my skills.  They needed to know I shared their culture.

My sales meetings sound a lot like Krueger’s press conferences.  “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”  I’m an apostle.  Notice, though, that the quote is silent on talent.  Talent is a given.

I think the real debate is strategy vs. culture, for any given level of talent.  THEN, there’s no debate at all.

This franchise will win when JBot finds talent and RaKru shows it what to do.

Edited by Neo
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4 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

They are garbage because Sheary, Vesey, Sobotka, Erod, WIlson, Frolik, and even Mojo were brought in and they are not good enough at creating offense. I just listed 5 forwards that do almost nothing to create offense and a couple more who sometimes do. That's why we ***** lose. It isn't because we lost for a year or two and now it is acceptable or whatever fairytale you want to believe. We suck because our GM has added offensive passengers to the team for years with no end in sight.

This is the main reason. Half this roster should be waived or sent to Rachacha.

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34 minutes ago, Hawerchuk said:

This is the main reason. Half this roster should be waived or sent to Rachacha.

While I don't fully agree that half the roster needs to waived or demoted, I do agree that the spine of this team (centers and goaltending) need to be upgraded.  Sheary and Vesey aren't the problem nor are they the solution, but if they were being centered by a good player they would have been much much much more effective.

That said we don't have enough talent, especially for a team spending to the cap.  We are still paying for TM's generosity.  11 mill of dead cap spent on KO and Bogo is a real problem.  

Ultimately the losing culture is just a short hand term for a team that hasn't won for a long time, but we have seen this team win over the last 2 years.  They just don't have enough of the right talent to get them over the rough spots.  

As we says in the Briere and Drury years "culture" can change real fast when the right talent is on the roster and disappear just a quick.  Toews and Kane are still in Chi but what happened to their winning culture? 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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Just to add.  I believe Pegula thinks he has his Beane and McDermott in his hockey club.  Botterill’s seat is hotter, but he’ll get another year.

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