Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

December 8, 2007

TIM SCHMITT: Sabres-Amerks split makes Quinn, Donner look foolish

Before Friday, I was sad. Sad that two franchises as interwoven as the Sabres and Amerks couldn’t settle their differences. Sad that two or maybe three egos were finding a way to foul up what’s been a special relationship for almost three decades.

Sad that sister cities with few other ties would be further estranged.

But after leaning on a rail in the south end of Blue Cross Arena on Friday, enjoying a couple beverages and watching the Amerks duke it out with the Toronto Marlies, I’ve pushed beyond sad.

Absolutely ticked is more like it.

Nail this down to one simple sentence — both Larry Quinn and Steve Donner are incompetent. If you haven’t noticed, Quinn’s second term near the top of the Sabres food chain has included a number of peculiar decisions, including a since-reversed policy to avoid negotiations until after the fact. He appears to be the mastermind behind a recent power play that either tried to stiff-arm Donner into selling the Amerks or forced a new set of rules on the franchise.

That’s the way Quinn works. Think about most of the decisions he’s had a hand in. Buffalo fans didn’t want a new logo. Quinn didn’t care. Buffalo fans wanted the team to soften its stance on dealing with Chris Drury and Daniel Briere. Quinn didn’t care.

And Buffalo fans want to travel an hour to see their farm team.

Quinn obviously doesn’t care.

But let’s not give Donner any sort of free pass here. Not even close. He’s taken one of the most successful minor-league franchises in history and cannonballed it into red ink.

When I watched the Amerks drop a 5-2 decision to Toronto on Friday, the crowd was announced at 8,702. I stood in a line about a half-dozen deep to get a Blue Light at the end of the first period. Parking wasn’t easy to find.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pro Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page