My second favorite hockey team will always be the Buffalo Sabres. When you’ve braved below zero weather in the middle of winter to park a half-mile away from the Aud and then hike to the game year after year, you’ve paid your dues.The French Connection (Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin, and Rene Robert) hooked me on hockey. And from those frigid Buffalo nights, my passion for the sport has only grown.
So you can imagine the sadness I feel for a small-market franchise that seems to have lost it’s direction as well as for fans and friends of mine who are losing hope.
Last season was dismal – 22nd in goals per game, 22nd in goals against average, 29th in power play percentage, and 26th in penalty kill percentage. You would think that north is the only direction you could go, right? I’m not so sure.
Sabre’s owner Terry Pegula says he talks to his GM, Darcy Regier more than he talks to his own wife. I don’t know who gets the shorter end of that hockey stick, Mrs. Pegula or Mr. Regier. So far, intimate business chats between Pegula and Regier don’t seem to be producing much marital bliss.
Not long ago, this is how Pegula characterized Regier –
I’m going to do things my way, and one of the things that I like about what I see is there’s a very capable person there, a lot of knowledge under Al Arbour, very knowledgeable person…I built a pretty good company for my life, and one of my main areas in life is you start with a good person, good people, and you work from there. Darcy is in that category.
Talk all you want about how Brett Hull’s no-goal cursed the Sabre’s Stanley Cup hopes. The real millstone around the Sabre’s neck seems to be tattooed with the name of Darcy Regier. And fans in Buffalo deserve better.