Niagara Gazette

Sports

October 26, 2013

CHIPP: Letter from a disgruntled Sabres fan

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mr. Terry Pegula:

I needed a moment to collect my thoughts after Wednesday’s Buffalo Sabres game against the hated Boston Bruins.

I say hated because the game was the “Rivalry Night” matchup on national television, the fourth time in the season’s first 11 games the hometown hockey squad’s been featured in front of millions (maybe) of non-traditional viewers. And after the team’s display, I’m happy we won’t be back there again until January.

It certainly was difficult to watch the third period of that game on television. Suffering, a buzz word thrown around by your underlings after the conclusion of last season, is only the tip of the adjective tree fans have used to describe their emotions so far, and I’m no different.

My problem is I see no point to this suffering. I see no point in cheering for your hockey team.

I bought in to the idea when team President Ted Black and – though he shouldn’t have been involved – General Manager Darcy Regier laid out their plans this past spring. I sat in the team’s media room with my contemporaries that morning and took what they said to heart.

We were promised a youth movement, had a coach forced upon us said to be phenomenal at teaching the game to young players. And the team certainly is young and in need of some teaching.

But that is the extent of what management got right. From personnel to coaching to man management to doing stuff to boost team morale to energizing a fan base, you have failed.

I say you because these are your employees. You’re responsible for their failures.

There’s so much wrong with this team, from failing to trade away assets Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller, guys who I believe we’ll see become major league distractions to accompany their major league ability in the coming weeks, to a porous defensive play from the veterans, not the youth.

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