SBD/February 21, 2013/Franchises

NHL Franchise Notes: Are Sabres Devoid Of Organizational Identity?

Ruff, hired in '97, was the NHL's longest-tenured coach
YAHOO SPORTS' Nicholas Cotsonika noted former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who was fired yesterday after a 16-year tenure, "outlasted popes and presidents." Ruff was the longest-tenured coach in the NHL. But now that he is "gone, it’s time to reevaluate everyone else, starting with" GM Darcy Regier. The problem "wasn’t patience, but the people." Ruff and Regier "are good people, but Ruff clearly wasn’t the right coach anymore and Regier might not be the right GM anymore, either, based on the roster and the record." Making the playoffs "shouldn’t matter as much as making sure the Sabres have the leadership to execute their philosophy," so Owner Terry Pegula can "remain patient and watch it pay off next time." The Sabres currently "lack a strong organizational identity" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/20).

STARS HONORING STARS: In Dallas, Mike Heika reported the Stars announced that the organization's 20th Anniversary Team, presented by Dr Pepper, will be "unveiled during the club's remaining home games this season." Fans over the last few months "had an opportunity to vote on DallasStars.com for who they would want to play on their all-time Dallas Stars team." Members of the team will be "honored at home games with special appearances, promotions and interactive content on DallasStars.com" (DALLASNEWS.com, 2/20).

JETS OWNERS EYEING WHL TEAM? In Winnipeg, Gary Lawless reported "word leaked out" last weekend that Jets Owner True North Sports & Entertainment had been having talks with a Western Hockey League owner about "purchasing a franchise but they have now broken off." Jets Senior Dir of Corporate Communications Scott Brown said that the organization would "not be addressing the report." The WHL BOG met in Las Vegas just over a week ago and there was "no report on a sale of a franchise to be relocated to Winnipeg" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 2/18).
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