That was the total tenure of Darcy Regier's tenure as the Buffalo Sabres general manager. He survived eight non-playoff seasons, four early playoff exits, four owners, three conference final trips, two head coaches, and a Stanley Cup Final. It almost seemed as if one of the last things to go with the Sabres was going to be Regier, much like how cockroaches are the last thing to survive a nuclear holocaust.
With the announcement of Darcy's firing and the hiring of Pat LaFontaine as President of Hockey Operations, it finally gives the organization a chance to hit the reset button. It is a fresh start for everything surrounding the Sabres organization, from the coaches, to the players, to the fans as well. It's easier to get behind a total rebuild of the team if the team is being rebuilt from the top down.
Ted Nolan gets his third chance in the NHL after being out of the league for the past five years. Time has changed many things, so it will be interesting to see what kind of style the team comes out with and how Nolan approaches the game. Even this early in the season, the Sabres are well out of the playoff hunt that it still doesn't necessarily mean that there will be immediate success on the ice. But, for a guy that has been out of the league for so long and knows what it's like to not have a prospect, he will make sure that the team will always put their best foot forward.
The players will have to reset as they will have to learn a new system for the second time in three months. If they don't learn it fast, they'll probably find themselves in the press box. They have to impress a new coach and a new general manager to justify their spot on the roster. There are more questions than answers at this point in how the roster will look. How will the rookies factor into the plan? Will the team be more compelled to move Ryan Miller or can they convince him of their plan? How drastic of a change in style will this team play with?
The reset button matters most for the fans though. It will be easier to stomach a full team rebuild knowing that everything will be rebuilt. The vitriol that was there for the first 10 home games of the season will probably diminish quickly as fans give the new regime a chance to make a footprint on the team. This team doesn't even have a general manager at the moment, so it is tough to discern exactly where this team is going in the long-term, but it still looks more promising than yesterday's long-term vision did.
For a franchise that was so bad it was quickly becoming irrelevant, the reset button needed to be hit quickly.