It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Two reasons. Life is nuts and I have time to check in, but little time to put any thoughts into anything. Two: I don’t have cable anymore for $ saving purposes so I haven’t seen too many games (it was the one reason I resisted cancelling cable, but I think I picked a good season to do it!) so posting opinions about what is wrong is much more difficult from reading commentaries and summaries than it is to do when they are winning and it is obvious as to what is going well. I’m going to start doing more radio and game threads...I think.
1. I am excited about the possible sale of the Sabres to Terry Pegula. I’m not a fan of how he made his money, but if I can compartmentalize about athletes who do things off the ice/field/court I don’t like, why can’t I do that with the owner?
2. I think that Darcy and Lindy will be and should be let go after the season, but would understand if they aren’t. Darcy used to make consequential trades: Gilmour, Juneau, Drury, etc. I have to think his hands have been tied by the "plan" of Larry Quinn that nothing of consequence can be done via trade or free agency. I also think that the Sabres (and many teams) have yet to adjust to the reality of trading in the cap era. Part of me would like to see what Darcy can do w/o his hands tied behind his back, but another part of me thinks moving on right away would be better than a 1-2 year evaluation of Darcy just to get rid of him anyway. As far as Lindy goes….it is much more complicated for me. I think he is a great coach, but is he the right guy for this group? Unless the roster is going to be totally overhauled in 1-2 years, I think it might be time to move on. If the move is made to keep either Darcy or Lindy, I wholeheartedly would choose Lindy.
3. I’ve been a critic (to put it lightly) of Derek Roy here and elsewhere, but his loss hurts. He was having a good year and was one of the few who didn’t disappoint most nights. He proved me wrong this year, and I hope he does in the future as well. Who is really going to step into the #1 center role (not just who they are going to put there)?
4. Hear me out on this one: Should the Sabres trade Kassian? I know, we all want to see him here, but I just wonder if he is a ticking time bomb waiting to be suspended. It seems he has a target on his back (I’m not so sure that hit was to the head….even if it was a tad late, I think it was w/in the rules) and he seems unable to adjust his style of play (not that we really want him to). I woke up with this thought and haven’t processed it to much, but I will say that one criticism I have of the Sabres is that they refer to the future and to assets. They aren’t assets if you never intend on using them.
5. There are several Sabres who I think need a different home next year. A few are obvious: Rivet and Lalime. A few that are only slightly more suprising: Connolly and Hecht. I know there are avid defenders of Connolly here, and I get that, but I can probably count on one hand in the last several years where Connolly was a difference maker or the best player on the ice. He racks up points and at the end of the season I go "Really, he had that many points". Plus, see point 3 above. I’d love him to step into the #1 role and act like the one of the most important players to the success of the team, but I have little confidence he will do it even if he is put on the first line. Hecht? What can I say? When you respond to your horrible defensive lapse against Calgary by saying that the Sabres don’t get those "bounces" and that teams seem to get "lucky" against the Sabres by getting it deep and making plays? Seriously? It isn’t "luck" to get the puck deep! I used to love Hecht and how he played. Now I’m done with him.
6. I look at this roster right now and I ask: How long until this team is a cup contender again? I think it might be a while. They are fragile mentally and their veteran leadership appears more "veteran" (aka old) than leadership.
7. Ryan Miller is having an off year as well. I don’t think the record of the team would be that much better if he was having a better year, but he is a shell of what he was last year. It sure would be nice to have a backup goaltender to take some of the load off of him.
8. Who are the untouchable players on this team? With me, there are very few. Myers and Miller are probably it. I’d even be willing to listen to the argument that Miller isn’t untouchable. I’m not sure franchise goaltenders carry teams in this NHL like they used to. That having been said, I wouldn’t trade him with any other goaltender in the league. But, a Herschel Walker type trade and I’m listening.