Not to take anything away from Shane Doan, because he is an absolutely fantastic player, leader and person (from what I’ve heard about him). I personally feel that this is just an absurd amount of money and a term that is a few years to long for someone who is past their prime and much closer to their retirement than winning the Calder Trophy.
You mean they didn’t let a player walk away for nothing? What is going on, THIS IS AWESOME!!
So first, Terry Pegula, his wife Kim, and Lindy Ruff FLY to Calgary to convince Robyn Rehger that he belongs in Buffalo and that we wanted him – trade accomplished. Â They also managed to ship out Chris Butler, who I think was in need of a change in scenery and they re-acquired Ales Kotalik (I still haven’t decided if this is a good thing or not…)
Next the team signs Nathan Gerbe, our little man who finally found his scoring touch last season to a 3 year contract extension.
And now, they have acquired the negotiating rights to Christian Ehrhoff from the NY Islanders for a 4th round pick next year.
I cannot wait until Friday if this is what is leading up to it!!!
Today has been like Christmas in June for Sabres fans.
Lets start with the Sabres being rated the third best franchise in the NHL by The Hockey News. Wait, did you say third, really?? Â I first heard this news while listening to WGR550 on my way to work and I swear I almost drove my car into a ditch. Â The 30 NHL franchises were rated in 9 categories: Front Office, Regular Season, Future Watch, Playoffs, Draft Success, Franchise Value, Ownership, 2010-2011 Standings, and Attendance. Â High scores in four out of these categories make sense, the other five, not so much.
The Sabres have drafted very well for the last 10 years, drafting 20 players just between 2001-2005 drafts that have played in the NHL, 10 of which currently play for the Sabres. Â Recently, we have picked up players like Nathan Gerbe, Tyler Myers, Tyler Ennis, Luke Adam, Braydon McNabb, Marcus Foligno, Mark Pysyk, just to name a few.
Two words, Terry Pegula. Â He took over as owner near the end of February and changed the entire vibe of HSBC Arena. Â He, along with Ted Black and the rest of the management team have redesigned the locker room and have already implemented changes in the arena and during games through a fan suggestion box. Â To say I love him would be an understatement, he is the best thing to happen to the Buffalo Sabres in a very long time.
This is a category the Sabres have not lacked in since the lockout. Â In the 2 seasons following the lockout, tickets were a difficult thing to come by, but attendance lagged a bit the years the Sabres failed to make it to the postseason. Â Sabres tickets became a hot commodity when Pegula took over the team with all remaining home games selling out (12 regular season games and 3 playoff games).
So what else happened you ask, well….
- Former Portland Pirates head coach, Kevin Dineen, was introduced as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers (sadface) on Wednesday.
- The Sabres signed 2010 1st round draft pick Mark Pysyk, a defenseman currently playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Â Â Western Hockey League.
- The Sabres announced they would not renew the contract of Associate Coach Brian McCutcheon. Â If the sale of the Rochester Americans to Terry Pegula goes through, McCutcheon is expected to be introduced as the head coach. Â If the sale falls through he would simply be released.
- The Sabres also announced plans for aÂ draft party which will take place during the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
- WGR550 also started discussing who would replace McCutcheon. Â Some names that were thrown around were current Sabres Player Development Coach Kevyn Adams and current Anaheim Ducks assistant coach Mike Foligno (YES!!!). Â Both would be excellent choices and both have ties to the city already. Â Adams grew up in Clarence and Foligno played for the Sabres from the 1981-1982 season until the 1990-1991 season.
- Locker room renovations are underway. Â Follow this link to the Sabres website to take a looksie at what Mr. Pegula and Mr. Black have in mind when they talk about turning Buffalo into Hockey Heaven.
Looks like Terry Pegula is interested in bringing the kids closer to home. Â Pegula has reportedly signed a letter of intent to purchase the Rochester Americans of the AHL (woot!). Â The Amerks were the primary farm club for the Sabres until the 2007-2008 season, when the teams parted ways. Â Since then the Sabres primary affiliate has been the Portland Pirates, which is not close to Buffalo (sadface). Â For years, we jumped in the car and went to Amerks games, hell we watched Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville, Derek Roy and so many others come up through the ranks, now its just impossible unless you are willing to shell out a small fortune for gas or a plane ticket.
Hopefully this deal works out, because then there will be lots of one hour drives and Dinosaur BBQ in many Sabres fans futures!!!!
Stay tuned for an update!
The Sabres announced today at the season ending press conference, that Lindy Ruff has agreed to a multi-year contract extension.Â The length and terms of the deal were not released.Â Terry Pegula said in his introductory press conference “Lindy ain’t going anywhere.”Â This should not come as a surprise to Sabres fans as it was only a matter of when the team would announce a deal was in place.
This is not only exciting for Sabres fans, but it shows the commitment Mr. Pegula has to this team and their fans.Â While some people may say, Lindy needs to go or he’s been here too long with not enough results, there is no possible way to say that Lindy Ruff isn’t an amazing coach.Â There is a reason he’s been here for this long and now he has an owner that will give him the resources he needs to win, whatever the cost.Â For me personally, I love Lindy and at this point I can’t imagine the Sabres without him, he has been the coach for as long as I have been a fan.Â I am extremely happy with this move, as all Sabres fans should be, and cannot wait to see what shape the team begins to take once they playoffs are over.