The Buffalo Sabres announced yesterday that they've made two additions to their internal staff - Craig Kanalley has been hired as the team's new social media manager and Chris Ryndak will write in some capacity on the editorial side.
On the surface, this might not seem like that important of an announcement, however, both of these writers share two important traits - they come from the ever-growing online pool of quality bloggers/writers, and they each have unique Buffalo connections. Kanalley was born in Buffalo, graduated from St. John-Fisher college, and his namesake is Buffalo Sabres great Craig Ramsay, while Ryndak was a writer for popular Buffalo-based blog The Goose's Roost before covering the team for NHL.com.
These are two smart hirings by the Sabres that received instant praise amongst Buffalo's Twitterati, not only because they both have strong personal connections to the team, but because the Sabres went out and found two guys who produce high-quality work, and brought them in to the fold. When you combine this with the fact that the organization has already been utilizing the talents of Kris Baker from the excellent Sabres Prospects blog to help with their draft coverage, you can see the organizational pattern of targeting smart voices who have a passion for Sabres hockey, and using their talents to improve the team's coverage of itself.
The off-ice product should improve with the team's recent additions, and improvement in any area is a good thing. However, this now puts the onus on GM Darcy Regier and his team to improve the on-ice product in a meaningful way come the draft and free agency.
All the insightful Tweets and editorials in the world won't mean much if the team plays as poorly as it did for stretches last season. I'm looking forward to seeing what Kanalley and Ryndak bring to the organization, but I'm looking forward even more to how they cover the team's inevitable changes.