‘An Open Letter To Mr. Pegula’


From The Office Of A Long And Suffering Buffalo Sabres Fans
Southern Calfornia

Attention: Terrence Pegula, Owner, Buffalo Sabres
One Seymour H. Knox Plaza
Buffalo, NY 14203

Dear Terry,

I hope this letter finds you well. We write to you today because we have major concerns about this franchise. What we are able to say is to be taken as constructive criticism, and is meant to help you and anyone who is affiliated with the Buffalo Sabres going forward.

Terry, you busted onto the scene in Western New York like a rocket. Your emotions, passions and dreams for the Buffalo Sabres came from the heart. You reeled us in. You made proclamations that we are in this to win Stanley Cups. You spoke to our sports fans soul.

You were a breath of fresh air after a feeble run of owners since the late great Mr. Knox passed on. It was almost as if we were on the podium, expressing our desires to see the Sabres become a viable playoff and Stanley Cup contender for years to come. Our dreams have come true.

But now we plead to you. Don’t meddle in the day to day hockey decisions. Step back, be the businessman, and make the decisions that need to be made, and root afterwards like you always have. Even if we fans meddled, good things will not happen.

In some ways I admire your loyalty. But how can you explain jettisoning a coach like Lindy Ruff who gave his heart and soul into this franchise, and yet keep the man in Mr. Darcy Regier on board, as he and Lindy were joined at the hip all these years? Other franchises, other General Managers, Prospective Free Agents, and others throughout the NHL notice this. It is definitely not a good look, and is looking laughable.

Has Regier been a complete failure? No. Four trips to the Eastern Conference Finals and 1 Stanley Cup Finals appearance suggest that he has had success, but that is the key word. Had. Recent results have shown disappointments, near misses, and no real progress towards the future. Regier is just promising hope, what could be, instead of what it should be.

Here we are now a couple of days away from the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark NJ, and the Sabres feel like a train wreck, even with two of the Top 16 picks in a deep NHL Draft.  And Darcy is at the forefront. This organization needs the overhaul, starting with the GM, and your job is not done. How does this make you look? How does this make you feel?

As you know now, honeymoons do not last forever, and yours is over. The buzz surrounding your arrival has dwindled away. But we still have faith in you because we know your heart is in the right place. But maybe you are using too much heart and now enough business savvy.

Do the right thing for the franchise and show Darcy Regier the door, thank him for his service, hire a new GM and let them do the hockey side of the business.

It is never too late to make the right decision. Have a wonderful day.

Sincerely,

Brian Sanborn
Concerned and Loyal Sabres Fan
Since 1981-1982

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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