I think my title speaks for itself. I was convinced that today was the day that Darcy’s reign of terror in Buffalo came to an end. I was wrong. However, I didn’t think that things would take the turn that it did during the press conference at First Niagara Center.
There’s one direction that the Sabres are headed in right now. Straight down. The fans don’t even get the courtesy of a downward spiral. Buffalo is taking a nose dive. As I listened to the press conference this afternoon in my office, the media went right to asking if Darcy was going to stay on as GM. My heart crashed when I heard Ted Black say “Yes”.
Let me just say this (I know, I know, I’m harping on Darcy), read this blog http://betweenthebenches....rgument-for-firing-darcy/
and there’s my argument. However if I can find the stats for that blog to justify a firing, why can’t Mr. Pegula?
I’m throwing in 1 more stat that I heard from the WGR today. Since Darcy traded Dominik Hasek, the Sabres have missed the playoffs 7 out of 11 seasons. I added in that if you count the years that the Sabres were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, it’s 9 out 11 seasons.
Since when is this acceptable for NHL GM’s? Even other GM’s at least get their teams into the playoffs. The man is not capable of winning a Cup in Buffalo. He’s had 16 years, he’s had enough time, he can’t get this team into the playoffs let alone win a championship.
End of story.
Let’s start looking at things with the situation as a whole. I heard during the press conference today that back in 06-07, the Sabres were oh so close to winning the Cup. This is a distant memory for the Sabres. Then, after that season, fans were told it was time to rebuild. What would you call 2007 until now? Those certainly weren’t attempts to win a Stanley Cup. And after missing the playoffs last season, now it’s time for a rebuild again? The team hasn’t even won a playoff series since 2007. But anyway, they announce that it’s time to go towards a rebuild. Oh and by the way, the Sabres fans may have to endure
some “suffering” while the Sabres rebuild.
Oh, and hey, ticket prices are going up.
Umm, excuse me?
So let’s see, the product is terrible, there’s a GM who is unproven, ticket prices rise, after a lockout, and the fans get to sit and shell out more money to sit and watch a bad product. OH, and there’s no coach right now, who knows what is going to happen with that too.
To make this even better, as I listened to the press conference, I heard a reporter ask about the “Sabres winning a Super Bowl- I mean Stanley Cup” and how long it would take. That speaks volumes to me. The Sabres are turning into the Buffalo Bills. To anyone who watches the Bills, they’re horrid. They put faith into players who can’t perform, over pay them, and put forth a losing effort year in, year out. Oh, and ticket prices are ridiculous and the owner is nonexistent.
For those of you who don’t follow the Bills, this isn’t a good thing.
I asked myself back when before the Bills hired Chan Gailey, who else would want to coach this team? They were horrid. I now ask that about the Sabres. Who is going to want to come in and coach this team right now? Patrick Roy isn’t going to come to town, the coach of the Quebec Ramparts. Let’s get over this delusion. He’s going to have several other options this off season with more appeal than the Sabres. On the outside looking in, you have a GM who makes poor decisions, and the team is rebuilding. I wouldn’t want to be attached to that. Sure, other coaches may want a chance, but it is bleak future in Buffalo for the time being.
I haven’t even dived into the ticket issue yet. This was a huge focus of the Sabres press conference today. Forget the CBA having to be reason why ticket prices go up. Hockey is a business. Terry Pegula should understand this. Let me say this as plainly as possible. If your product isn’t good, PEOPLE WON’T PAY FOR IT!
Forget how expensive it is. I’ll get to that next. The product could be 5 dollars, but if it falls apart 2 seconds after you buy it, no one will purchase it.
In the NHL, the product is the 20 guys on the ice. Now, add in a few factors to this. The team is rebuilding, there was just a lock out, and the Sabres have gotten progressively worse from when Pegula took the team over in February 2011 until now. There is uncertainty of the direction that the team is headed in, and an unproven GM is at the head of hockey operations. Now lets increase prices.
Seems reasonable (yes that’s sarcasm).
After the last lockout, ticket prices for the Sabres were fairly decent. I know that I paid about 35 bucks for a ticket to sit in the 300’s. That’s pretty reasonable. Since then, ticket prices have continually gone up. Now, tickets have more than doubled since the last lockout. Now, add that to just having a shortened season and the ticket prices go up again following a lock out? That’s not how you win back fans. Forget the product on the ice.
I think that this is just a slap in the face of the fans. Pay more for a product that can’t win. Personally, I think fans need to stop going. I know it’s tough, but it will at least send a message to ownership that the fans have had it. Just look at the attitude in First Niagara Center. The fans are almost disinterested with the team. So why pay the money to watch a poor product that fans aren’t even that focused on? Simple answer- Don’t pay.
All this combined, does not bode well for the Buffalo Sabres franchise. After the 06-07 season, there was talk of rebuilding the team, and getting the team back into contention. Here we are, 2013 season is over, and there is one thing we can be sure of as Buffalo Sabres fans;
It’s going to get a whole lot worse, before it gets better. And the getting better part isn’t a guarantee given the history of the Sabres the past 16 years.
Follow me on Twitter- @SabresBTB. I will be chatting tonight around 9 about the state of the Sabres, and will answer any questions you have.
As always, Thanks for reading!!