Saturday, January 21, 2012

"The Core" no more?

The names of Derek Roy and Drew Stafford are whirling around the hockey world as the trade deadline approaches.

It's still five weeks away, but with the Sabres mired in a franchise-record road losing streak and only three points from the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the hockey world is looking at the Sabres as sellers this season.

Sabres President Ted Black was on the Howard Simon Show Thursday talking about the state of GM Darcy Regier, Head Coach Lindy Ruff and a group known as "the core."

Simon referred to them as a "core group of players," as Regier has done often times over the past four and a half seasons.

When asked by Simon if the Sabres organization still believes that this core group is the right group and a group they can win the cup with, Black distanced himself, "I've never used the term core group, so I assume you mean the Rochester guys?" [6:00-mark]

He continues, "The fact of the matter is, over a two or three year period, teams flip over for the most part." Then he pretty much opens the door for the dismantling of the core, "I don't think we're committed to any group of players whatsoever."

"The Rochester Guys" include, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Derek Roy, Paul Gaustad and Ryan Miller. All of them spent the lockout season in Rochester and all came up together as the NHL entered their "New-NHL" phase. Drew Stafford is also looked at as a core player, although he came up and stuck with the team a year later.

The "New NHL" has come and gone, and with it the effectiveness of some of the "Rochester Guys."

Also in question should be the person who brought this group together and has staunchly defended and overrated some of them, Darcy Regier.

Black opened the door to changes, just who will be involved and how far reaching it will be is yet to be determined. But what we're looking at are some significant changes that may constitute a rebuild as opposed to a retool.

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