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An Open Letter to Amerks Fans

There’s been some hostility recently between Amerks and Sabres fans. Let’s clear the air.

Montreal Canadiens v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Dear Amerks Fans,

Over the past 24 hours, there’s been some hostility between some of the diehard Amerks fans and Sabres fans. There have been accusations of the big club sabotaging their minor league affiliate or being ambivalent about the Amerks in general. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

You have the right to be upset about some of the moves that have been made over the last month or so. The moves have an effect on the team that you watch. In most cases taking good players off the roster, so that feeling is understandable. Also, the injuries to Amerks players like Kyle Criscuolo and Linus Ullmark hasn’t helped the situation.

I’m not going to sit here as the “big brother” telling you how this process works. We all know that the Amerks are around to serve as a pipeline for the Sabres. The AHL is a developmental league that the current General Manager of the Sabres, Jason Botterill happens to put a lot of faith in.

The Sabres have three games left in the season and want to get a look at a few players on the roster. Again, I understand that can be frustrating when the Amerks are battling the Utica Comets for that third spot in the North Division. Playing Syracuse instead of Toronto seems like a much better first-round matchup.

However, suggesting that Botterill has turned a blind eye to the Amerks with call-ups over the last month is wrong. He wants to know what he has in his prospect pool in a season that is lost for the NHL team.

Remember when he wouldn’t call up players like CJ Smith or Brendan Guhle in November or December because he didn’t want to disturb the farm team? How about the moves he made in the offseason to help improve the Amerks to be the playoff team they are this season? A good example was the trade for Zach Redmond who has been a huge player for Rochester.

Don’t forget that one of the pieces that came back in the Evander Kane trade was primarily brought in to help the Amerks right now, in Danny O’Regan. Also, don’t forget that Botterill assigned a good prospect in Will Borgen to the Amerks to help as well.

The Sabres could be helping the Amerks in another way for the remainder of the week. Giving players like Guhle, Nylander, Casey Nelson and Nick Baptiste ice time with the big club can help boost their confidence and send them back to Rochester after Saturday’s game with some motivation heading into the Calder Cup Playoffs.

A lot of reinforcements are on the way to the Amerks at the end of the week. They’ll be well stocked for a playoff push and all of us here in Buffalo will be rooting for a long run.

We’re on the same team here, like literally. Don’t think for a second the fans of Buffalo take for granted what the Amerks mean to the Sabres.