Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Rolling back organizationally"

Or, "reboot."

Or the old-fashioned, "rebuild."

Which ever way you slice it, the Buffalo Sabres are looking towards the future.

GM Darcy Regier used the term, "rolling back organizationally," as if anyone really cares. I'm sure many fans in Buffalo would prefer a straight-shooterinstead so a euphemism like that should be thrown on an iceberg heading over the Falls.

Sabres President Ted Black said he prefers "reboot." He said, jokingly, he wants to here Canadians say "it's all aboot the reboot."

Nice attempt at humor from Owner Terry Pegula's PR-guy.

Or how about peeling off another core player from a group that failed.

Regier's "core," or as Black put it, "the Rochester Guys," are being dismantled piece by piece and there are only two left--Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller (maybe three if you want to include cusp core-guy Drew Stafford.)

Shall we go through the list again?

Tim Connolly, Paul Gaustad, Derek Roy and now Jason Pominville all gone, along with the long-time coach of "the core," Lindy Ruff.

Pegula gave this group a full-blown opportunity to show what they could do last season. The organization went all in with "the core" by sewing letters on all of them:  Pominville, Captain; Gaustad, Roy, Vanek and Stafford, Assistants.

The result? An ugly first-half of the season lowlighted by Miller getting steam-rolled by Milan Lucic with no retribution and the longest road losing streak in team history December through January.

During the 2012 off-season the team decided that they needed to be "tougher to play against." Out the door was Roy. In was Steve Ott. They also brought in enforcer John Scott.

The result?

Near the bottom of the league again. Out goes the coach. Out goes the captain.

The Sabres refrained from completely blowing it up for one reason or another, and it's a good thing.

There will be opportunities for the team to move Vanek and Miller this summer or even as late as the trade deadline next season. Both will be on the last year of their respective contracts.

Stafford could be moved next season as well. He'll have two years remaining on his contract.

Word on the street right now is that Vanek and Miller do not want to go through a lengthy rebuild and would be open to getting traded. And it would seem as if management will have no qualms about moving either or both. Too many times in the past Sabres let unrestricted free agents leave without a return. Pegula's directive to Regier is make sure you get something in return for pending UFA's of quality.

The return Regier received for Gaustad, Roy and Pominville can not be disputed:  A first round pick for Gaustad, Ott for Roy, a first, second and two prospects for Pominville. He's gathering picks for the "organizational rollback."

But, will he be the one in charge of the rebuild come seasons' end?

That's up for discussion in the next few months.

No comments:

Post a Comment