Mar 24, 2012; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Derek Roy (9) during the game against the Minnesota Wild at the First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Wild 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE
Their locker clean out day is turning into something of a hot mess for the Buffalo Sabres, as it seems to do every year, and even though we haven't heard from everyone yet, some strong words have already come out.
The first salvo was launched by Derek Roy, when he admitted to the media that he doesn't like being called out in public by head coach Lindy Ruff, and that Ruff should keep his criticism "behind closed doors."
Ruff has put the bulk of the responsibility for this season on the Sabres core, going all the way back to when he made them all assistant captains at the beginning of the season, but only Jason Pominville seemed to rise to the responsibility of being awarded a letter. Throughout the season, the Sabres coach has come out publicly a few times, whether citing missed opportunities or unacceptable effort from specific players or "the core" in general, culminating in his hour-long, double-yell-a-thon practice before the final game against Boston where he said that "you can't ever like losing" and that this was a "wasted season."
This is a pretty hefty attack by Roy, essentially calling out Ruff for mishandling his players. It also come on the heels of Paul Hamilton's appearance on WGR 550 this morning, where he insinuated that Thomas Vanek, among others, had begun to tune out Ruff's constant berating. While Vanek didn't have anything to say about that while packing his gear, it would make for a convenient, if unproven reason for his second half collapse.
We won't hear from Ruff, Darcy Regier, Ted Black or Terry Pegula until later for their side of the story, but for right now, it seems like the Roy/Ruff relationship is coming to a breaking point.