The final Sabres press conference for the 2010-2011 season was an emotional roller coaster as far as press conferences go, there was plenty of laughter, but there was also anger, sadness, and plenty of fashion disasters.
The presser, consisting of Terry Pegula, Lindy Ruff, Darcy Regier, and Ted Black, began with Terry Pegula commenting on how the season ended in disappointment for all of them, as the goal is always to win a Cup. He also mentioned how he was "ticked off" to see the HSBC crew removing the ice for the summer.
Quickly following that was the formal announcement of Lindy Ruff's contract extension. Curiously, nobody on the panel would give any details as to the length or money involved, with Ruff only saying that it was a multi-year contract, and let's leave it at that. I'm puzzled why they wouldn't release this information today, but I suppose it follows in the "grand tradition" of secret front-office extensions we all experienced this winter.
Following Ruff's announcement was some standard press conference talk about how everyone's excited to have Lindy back and excited about the future of the team. They showed their excitement in the usual sports press conference way by looking as bored as possible while talking. It was right around this time that our comments turned more to Kevin Sylvester's t-shirt/hoodie combo and Pegula's paisley tie. You could feel the excitement in the air.
After this, however, things started to get more interesting. Responding to a question about the headshot problem the NHL has, Pegula told us that he suggested to the league that they start to overreact to headshots as opposed to underreacting by throwing more players out of games, handing out longer suspensions, etc. Darcy Regier also chimed in on this topic by asking the NHL to have standardized goalie mask specifications to help prevent injuries like the concussion Ryan Miller suffered.
Read on to hear injury updates and the plan to bring in new players to Buffalo.
We'll go a bit out of order here by talking about the injury updates. They will be presented in list form for maximum visual impact:
- Jason Pominville had surgery on his severed tendon, and will be out 4-6 months. Ruff compared this injury to the one Goose suffered a few years ago
- Tim Connolly somehow suffered a sternum separation, which most people didn't even know was possible
- Patrick Kaleta broke his hand during the second period of Game Six but finished the game. Later on his hand swelled so much he couldn't play in Game Seven. Kaleta's surgery is on Monday
- Mike Grier will have wrist surgery this offseason and also finished the year with a bum knee
- Andrej Sekera had an oblique strain in the rib area and still has not recovered
- Jochen Hecht suffered a concussion
- Shaone Morrisonn also suffered a concussion, but in Game One. He is still suffering from headaches.
The quartet behind the mics also touched a little on the offseason plan regarding players. Regier admitted that this free agent market is thin, and said he'll use a combination of UFA's and trades to get the players he needs; he'll start talking to other teams by next week.
As far as the Sabres own players are concerned, Regier said he still needed to complete his due diligence on their own players before admitting what the team needs, or could have used this year. He said that there are a few guys from the Sabres that he probably wouldn't trade away, but did say that every player was in play to be acquired by Buffalo. That's big, folks.
Finally, Ted Black chimed in by saying that the renovations to the Arena this summer would include a locker room/training area upgrade from 8,000 square feet to 14,000 square feet - that construction will begin soon. Including the coaches areas and other underbelly upgrades, the project will exceed 27,000 square feet and will put Buffalo among the top of the league in that regard.
He finished by saying that the move to turn buffalo into "Hockey Heaven" was one of their top priorities coming in, and he thinks they're starting to succeed in that regard. The Alumni Game and all the pregame festivities surrounding that cost ownership $100,000, but Black though it was worth it because it was the best marketing campaign the team could have had - those alumni will help to spread the word that buffalo should be on every free agent's short list, and would be a destination for guys to waive their no-trade clauses; I have to agree with him there.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the final press conference of the year, Sabres fans.