Over the past couple of weeks the talk about the Sabres has grown more and more quiet. People seem to be focusing their attention on the NHL Playoffs. However, there are some Sabres topics that continue to linger on. The most prevailing topics are regarding inept management and a cheap owner. Everyone knows my thoughts regarding management but it's been awhile since I touched on the issue of ownership.
Every time I hear someone recite the phrase "Tom Golisano is cheap" or any variation of that phrase I have no choice but to chuckle. Would these people prefer that we were promised the "tools to finish the job" and the get excuses about revenue? Would they prefer that the NHL still run the Sabres on a bare minimum budget? Tom Golisano has spent money and he has done everything he can to make this a good team.
There will always be bumps along the way and there could even be bad decisions made that set the franchise back. However, there is no doubt in my mind that Tom Golisano wants the franchise to succeed. Not only does he want this franchise to succeed but he has provided the resources to do it.
I am not saying that ownership is free of any blame. I agree that there has to be accountability for the ownership. They shouldn't get a free pass just because they saved the franchise from bankruptcy. Sure there was a chance that the Sabres could have folded or possibly moved to another city and we should be forever grateful to Tom Golisano for that. It doesn't mean that he shouldn't be held accountable for this franchise.
Now on to the real topic of Tom Golisano being cheap. I his six years as owner of this team he has doubled the players salaries. He has been willing to pay top salaries to players like Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy, Jason Pominville and Ryan Miller. If you want to blame the management for bringing in the wrong players...go ahead. If you want to blame the coaching for not getting the most out of the players...go ahead. If you want to blame the players for minimal effort some nights...go ahead. Please do not blame the owner for being cheap because it sounds foolish.
If you look at the Sabres salary cap in 2008-2009 it's easy to see that the team was willing to spend money. Instead of defending Golisano for spending money we should probably try to figure out why people think he is cheap. I personally hink it is directly related to the dearture of Drury, Briere and Campbell. I can't argue the fact that none of them play for the Sabres anymore. They don't play for the Sabres aymore but the money is spent. If they did play for the Sabes then some other players wouldn't be playing here. It's just that simple. Bad decisions? Maybe. Cheap? Not a chance.