I sit and listen to everything that is coming out of Ted Nolan's mouth these days. Eager to pounce upon one ounce of hope. The hope that this team is now able to make a few trades and regain some measure of respectability in the league.
A few things pop into my head that now remain tangled with what I see and hear from the Sabres.
Is Ted here to return the Sabres to a measure of respectability? Make a "silk purse out of a sow's ear," so to speak.
- To do so would ruin the value of some of the draft picks that Darcy hoarded and so highly coveted. Would that not put the team right back where they were before this rebuild started? I struggle to see how sending players back and winning with vets serves any real purpose. The repercussions of such and action would seem counter productive.
Is Ted here to test this veteran core to assess their worth to the team in an effort to instigate further trades?
- By verifying the compete level of all these players and coaches now, the team could be in a position to know who should stay and who should go. All teams need a veteran core to lead them. None of the successful teams have been able to produce a cup with a team dominated by rookies and guys in their first few years of being a pro.
Is Ted here to assess how badly Darcy screwed this team in terms of chemistry?
- The product on the ice has been less than stellar in the last few years. While many people loved the trade making ability of Darcy, it appears the team chemistry is lacking. There are very few players that seemed to gel together long enough to warrant staying on the same line even for more than a few games. Both Lindy and Ron appeared to have a need to switch up the lines in an attempt to find productivity. Without chemistry no team survives for long.
Is Ted here to make a few adjustments and stop the fan revolt that has encompassed this team as of late?
- The fan base, for the most part, has been furious with the new owner and his promise of hockey heaven. The team has been anything but. With open chants during home games to fire the GM the team was at a huge risk of loosing the faith of its fan base, not just for the next year or too, but permanently. Fans have seen other fans give up on this team as "perennial losers," some stating they would rather root for their hated rivals. While on WGR, the president Mr. Black has been bombarded with questions regarding the direction the team is heading while the coach was blasted for every loss. Fans stopped calling. A rather ominous sign that they were starting to move away from the team.
Is Ted here to help decide the future of all assets in preparation of a true rebuild around all players with no one deemed safe?
- Out of all the coaches the team could have picked, Ted Nolan is the most likely to be able to coach a tough, hard nosed team, the owner seems to want them to be like. Is he here to assist in the move towards being a tougher team. Ted's recent comments regarding some players needing a kick in the pants and others needing a hug may be symptomatic of the problem with the team as he sees it. Any player that needs a hug could be on the way out. Soft players or those with easily hurt emotions will struggle in a tough team mentality. Looking back, it becomes more and more obvious why Boston dumped Phil K to the Leafs.
What other non obvious reason could there be? We all understand that the team needed a new voice in the room, but with recent comments about player movement up and down, fans are left to wonder where is this team really headed. The only thing we no for sure is there is no where for the team to go but up. At least this year.