Dave’s Dish: Terry Pegula, and what he should do.

Let me be the last to wish you Merry Christmas and the first to wish you Happy New Years.

Now then, on to the nitty-gritty of this post.

Terry Pegula has purchased the Sabres from Thomas Golisano for 175 billion dollars, and this excites many people (including this writer). The general consensus around Buffalo is that something has to be done to shake up this team and make it a contender once again. I agree with this. Many people believe that the front office needs to be changed. Again, I agree. Many people think that Lindy Ruff deserves to lose his job.

Alright stop…Hammer time.

Lindy Ruff should not be fired for any reason. We all know the team has underperformed, netting 34 points in 15 victories as of this evening following a victory over Edmonton (kudos to Mike Weber). This is not Lindy’s fault. It’s Darcy Regier’s fault. Lindy Ruff has had many successes with this team, getting them to a Stanley Cup Final, several Conference Finals and even a President’s Trophy Year. Whatever he’s done must be working right because his teams have made the playoffs in five of his years as coach, advancing in four of them. The man knows what he’s talking about when he coaches.

Unfortunately, he’s not coaching much.

Darcy Regier should be fired for not making any “real” moves. I place real in quotes because aside from the yearly rental player the past three seasons (see: Raffi Torres, Dominic Moore, Steve Bernier) and the occasional free agent (Jaroslav Spacek in 2006, Jocelyn Thibault in 2007, Mike Grier and Patrick Lalime in 2008, Jordan Leopold, Shaone Morrisonn, Rob Niedermayer), he hasn’t made the type of move that makes us as fans (or people in the organization) go “WOW! GREAT MOVE!” Instead, it’s just “ho hum, he’ll be gone after 17 games.” NO! This isn’t what anyone wants. The last real move he made was to send Rhett Warrener and a draft pick to Calgary for one Chris Drury. Before that, he traded Chris Gratton and a pick to Phoenix for Danny Briere and a pick. Before that he dealt captain Stu Barnes to Dallas for Mike Ryan and a pick. And just before that, he traded one Rob Ray to Ottawa for future considerations.

After that, everything just seemed to stop. Moves have been few and far between, and all the moves made haven’t made a drastic improvement on the team to a point which has drastically altered the course of a season. Sure, there have been some successes (Drury, Briere, Spacek), but the majority have been failures.

I leave you with this nugget. Lindy Ruff can only coach the talent he’s given. If he is given no talent, how can anyone expect positive results? I sure can’t. Therefore it only makes sense that when Terry Pegula takes control of this team, he fires Darcy Regier and keeps Lindy Ruff.


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