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New York, NY • United States • 2013 Years Old • Male
All the attention of the Hockey World, it seems, is on the Toronto Maple Leafs, but there's now a disaster just two hours southwest.

Someone told me it's the Curse of the Buffalo Bills that has inflicted this team. The moment they stepped on the ice at Ralph Wilson Stadium, they got a heavy dose of "We find ways to lose" injected into their bodies. Now I don't know if I believe that, but it is certainly interesting if this business initiative by the Sabres organization is blowing up in their faces, as they haven't been the same since.

After this afternoon's pitiful performance in Phoenix, having lost 12 of their last 13, and looking like their AHL affiliate Rochester Americans, who have lost 21 of their last 23 (really, look it up), the Buffalo Sabres are quickly becoming an embarassment. They seem to continue to lack an identity and just about every player on the team can be accused of coasting or giving up to some extent at least some time or another. If things don't change in a hurry, this team may be blown up completely (more on that in a moment).

I hate to be pessimistic, because I'm an optimistic person, but let's be honest and look at the facts....

-They're setting franchise records again this year (like last year), but now for the wrong reasons - losing their 8th straight road game today
-They're now under .500
-They're SEVEN POINTS back of a playoff position, and a few points away from the NHL basement
-Remember all those games in hand we had for so long? Those are now all gone.
-In a few days, if changes aren't made, the Leafs will jump ahead of them in the Northeast Division standings, and all Hell could break loose in Western New York

A nightmare situation has developed in the Queen City, and the toughest part about it is there's no quick fix or easy answer.

In some odd way, mostly due to the parity in the league this year, the Sabres STILL CAN climb out of this mess and emerge as a playoff team. A trade or two to wake the team up and bring in some new blood could be a good place to start. But things have officially hit an all-time low, certainly within the last three years, and probably within the last decade or two, with the exception of the Bankruptcy Crisis. Going from such a high last year to such a low this year means nothing but massive changes on the horizon.

This team is very, very close from being blown up completely. Fellow Sabres fans, don't get too close to it for that reason. We're inches away from rebuilding, but the good news is in today's NHL, we could pull a Philadelphia Flyers and be competitive again next year, if we do it right.

Jobs are on the line. From personnel, to management, to Mr. Ruff and Mr. Regier.

(And I have to add, this situation ODDLY resembles that of Toronto, as too many orders are coming down from corporate. Mr. Larry Quinn, who has no association with the game of hockey - he's a businessman -, has been handcuffing the team from making good hockey decisions, so much like MLSE, Ferguson and Co. north of the border. He did so during the Drury/Briere saga, and who knows what goes on behind closed doors, but it's likely he's doing it again.)

It's not getting quite as much press, but it's an intense situation in Buffalo, and it may all blow up at any given minute.

Watch out....
January 21, 2008 10:17 PM ET | Delete
Honestly, I think this team reminds me of the Syracuse Orange men's B-Ball team. Very talented, but young. OK, so we dont go to the conf. finals this year, or maybe miss the playoffs. Management needs to be fiscally responsible, not reactionary with the Campbell situation. Over-paying for past mistakes is not a way to run a business.It is sad to see so many Buffalo fans doom and gloom because of a down year. Take it easy already!
January 21, 2008 10:21 PM ET | Delete
My biggest problem is that I'm investing much of my money and time into this team...too much in the last few years. I had tickets in hand to all 4 of our home games of the Stanley Cup Finals last year, and I witnessed so many great moments at the arena last season. I moved my seats up to the 100 level this year and have been vastly disappointed in the product. I'm a college student and money doesn't grow on trees. Their mismanagement is hurting people like me.
January 21, 2008 10:29 PM ET | Delete
Good piece Miller.Personally, I really like the core we have for both now and the future. This team is just in dire need of a couple of leaders. How to get them, I dunno, but thats all I think they need. the core is set. they have talented guys like Roy, vanek, Poms, hecht, tallinder, etc.. A trade of Campbell could bring in some good young talent, that could in fact help us this year. same with a trade for Max.As for the future, Rochester is weak right now due to financial situations more then anything. But the team has several good players ready to hit the A next year, such as Enroth, Kennedy, Gerbe and Butler.right now, its just all about finding a leader. and a better backup goalie.
January 21, 2008 10:37 PM ET | Delete
Good points, and I pretty much agree with everything you said. The core is good, and certainly a few of the right players could totally turn us around. My biggest point with this blog though is that patience is running out in Sabreland, and if things aren't changed near-term, there could be some significant movement later on. Like in Toronto, I think everyone could be vulnerable.
January 21, 2008 10:44 PM ET | Delete
I don't believe this team is solid at its core. It is not solid on the blue line, too many soft, mobile defensemen. They are molded in the same pot. There needs to be more diversity back there. More toughness and size. The Sabres need to upgrade the forward positions. When Tim Connolly and Derek Roy are your top centers your team has a problem. This team needs one more finisher or two. then and only then will this team be solid at its core.
January 21, 2008 11:52 PM ET | Delete
agreed that they could use a finisher Gil, but Roy is a solid guy to have as your number 1. He may built in more of a number 2 role, but theres really not a number 1 center to be had at the moment. But who knows what could be there in the off-season with trades and FAs and what not.Also agree that they need some diversity on the blue line. 1 or 2 good tough players back there could do wonders for the D. With Kalinin and maybe Campbell going elsewhere, theres some holes that could be filled with size guys. Same potentially up front if a guy like Max is moved out.
January 22, 2008 1:02 AM ET | Delete
I know this is difficult to take but there is no sake in making a reactionary move just so we can say we did something. If it improves the team great, if not well tough it out and keep playing. I do think changes are in order but I don't want to completely blow the whole thing up. We have some good prospects coming up and with a few new FA's and possible trade acquisitions we may find ourselves back in the ECF's next season. One way to look at it would be to say that guys like Vanek can't get much worse so that's a postive. I would not mind never seeing Peters again though. He sits one game we in, he's back in and what do you know another loss. Keep playing Kaleta the guy plays with heart at least, whcih is something that can not be said about everyone on the current roster right now!
January 22, 2008 3:30 AM ET | Delete
Great Post. The Anger has been simmering and could soon boil over. It's almost unimaginable how Loser Larry ran this team into the ground in less then one full season. In the process they lose all the "equity" and good feelings they built up with fans. Think about it. This team could do no wrong in the fans eyes last year. Everybody in the area was so in to it. Buffalo ex-pats living out of state were going crazy! 2 Conference Finals in a row. President’s trophy last season. Now look at it. They now stand 6 points out of last place in the entire league. Has a team in the history of sports ever had the best record one season and the worst record the next? That’s what is certainly possible here. To say that a couple FA pickups and trades could have this team in the ECF is impossible unless it starts with the firing of Larry Quinn. But he’s Tommy’s boy, so that won’t happen.
January 22, 2008 3:35 AM ET | Delete
Only one good thing I see in all this mess. Maybe the Sabres ticket aftermarket sales “tit” has finally run dry. Buying tickets online has been ridiculous these last two years. All the jerks that bought 6 season tickets with the intent of selling 4 seats a game for 3x (or more) market value as a way to supplement your meager earnings can start feeling the pain and dump your tickets next year. There were 6,000 on the waiting list in June for Season tickets. This June I’ll bet they rip through that last and tickets will be available again. Not because of bandwagon fans' jumping off, but out of utter disgust for what the team has become.
January 22, 2008 3:37 AM ET | Delete
What's with the “” in place of quotes and ’’ in place of apostrophes when I cut and paste from word? Haha.
January 22, 2008 4:31 AM ET | Delete
haha i dont know about the quote thing, but thanks for your post(s). You are absolutely right about how the team could do no wrong last year, and it really is amazing how much they messed up over the course of a few months. Worst collapse of a team in the history of pro sports? I hate to say it, because there's still time left this season, but you may be on to something.
January 22, 2008 6:54 AM ET | Delete
Say, perhaps the management has a good reason for not making any moves to improve the team. Maybe there is a good reason we don't sign our core players like Chris, Danny and now possibly Soupy. I'm sure there isn't! If there is, why don't they tell us? Was Galisano in it for a quick buck? Was he???WTF!
January 22, 2008 9:46 AM ET | Delete
AS Mr Myagi said... "Walk on Left side road, OK... Walk on Right Side Road, OK... Walk in middle... Sooner or later ... SPALT" In this case, left side is keep the team together. Right side is rebuild. The sabres are trying to walk the middle. They built a good team... had a run and didn't make it. They were unable to keep it together to continue the run. Acknowledge it and move on. They've PROVEN they can build a team. time to do it again. And this time don't screw up keeping it together.
January 22, 2008 11:17 AM ET | Delete
I don't like to fall into the doom and gloom and in this modern parity driven NHL, it is possible to rebuild in one off-season. The problem I have with that mentality is that it isn't necessary to rebuild every 2-3 years. Yes, it will cost a little more $ and cap management becomes paramount, but retaining the top flight talent and retooling the role players is how to remain a contender year after year. Detroit does it. So has Anaheim, Ottawa, Dallas, NJ...do I need to go on? These team relize that it might take 3-5 (or more) years of consistent contention to win a cup. Yes, you can pull a Carolina and have everything fall into place for you that one year you're on an up-cycle, but the odds are against that. Everyone talks about consistency, well it applies to the front office just as much as it does on the ice.
January 22, 2008 12:57 PM ET | Delete
I really think they needed to pull an Ottawa and make a small, get your heads out of your asses trade early in the season to have a good chance at the playoffs. With what I've seen lately, it is hard for me to imagine them turning it around enough to get into the top 8. They have it in them, but they don't work consistently enough, and needed to be nipped earlier in the season.
January 22, 2008 5:41 PM ET | Delete
i agree miller time i'm a young guy that does not have alot of money and bought season tickets in 05-06. at least show up to play. in my opinion it all starts with management and them learning when to pull the trigger on sigining our key players AKA DRURY
January 22, 2008 6:33 PM ET | Delete
Its not looking good for the Sabres thats for sure. Its unfortunate b/c the Sens/Sabres rivalry was building up in the PO's. Not sure what happened to this team. Yes, I know, Briere and Drury are gone but they couldnt have had that much of an impact, could they? Vanek, Roy and Afinogenov have struggled a lot. And Gaustad? Whats up with him? 7 goals? Come on! I can see why Campbell is hesitant to sign before seasons end. Regehr needs to bring in character players even if it means trading away Afinogenov, Roy, Gaustad. The only one Id keep is Vanek.
January 22, 2008 10:34 PM ET | Delete
i hear you sens_rock, and you're absolutely right. character players are who we need. i dont think this team needs to be thrown out completely, but a move or two along those lines need to happen, or this team will be in serious trouble going forward. hate to say it, but i dont blame brian campbell either.
January 22, 2008 10:35 PM ET | Delete
January 22, 2008 10:36 PM ET | Delete
Tick tock tick tock......boom! A long overdue blow up is in order. Time to clean some, not all, of the cupboards.
January 25, 2008 11:15 AM ET | Delete
millertime, you are right, bringing in two character players would do the trick...I think.
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