No GM Or Coaching Change For Sabres
Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black made it official on Wednesday saying that General Manager Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff will remain with the team for the 2012-2013 season. It's not really a surprise. Owner Terry Pegula has the greatest respect for Ruff and I don't think his words "he's not going anywhere" back in February of last year have changed. And Regier has said Ruff will stay with the Sabres as coach as long as he wants the job.
Some fans and some in the media have been calling for the Sabres to clean house. Lindy is a good coach. He's led the team to the Stanley Cup finals once and four appearances in the Eastern Conference finals. Darcy has a good eye for talent. I just wish he was a little more decisive in making trades during the season when the team needs a spark. He's often waited too long to make a move and when the trading deadline comes potential trading partners are no longer interested.
I think injuries this season were a major factor in the Sabres missing the playoffs. Extended time off for defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Tyler Myers, goaltender Ryan Miller and forwards Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe had a big effect on the team. Jochen Hecht was out for nearly the entire season with concussion related problems. They're key players on this team and the Sabres are a different team without them.
Their drive to the playoffs in March shows what they can do when they're healthy. Injuries to Ehrhoff and Myers in the final week were costly. The addition to Marcus Foligno, the son of former Sabre Mike Foligno, was a breath of fresh air. He'll be back in the fall. The move of Tyler Ennis to center should have been made sooner. The deal with Vancouver the bring Cody Hodgson to the Sabres was a good one. And it came with a bonus - defenseman Alex Sulzer. He turned into more than a capable addition to the team. He's a very good player both offensively and defensively.
Alright, so now that the question of who will be leading this team from the front office and behind the bench has been answered, let's get on with it. Let's get the job done and bring a championship to the city. The Sabres are probably one or two players away from winning it all. Ted Black said when he arrived that he envisions the Sabres winning the Stanley Cup within three years. They already wasted the first year. It's imperative that the Sabres make sure next year does count. That means getting into the playoffs and winning a playoff round or two.