Sabres GM, Coach Will Stay Despite Missing Playoffs In Pegula's First Full Year
Sabres President Ted Black said Wednesday that GM Darcy Regier and head coach Lindy Ruff are "safely entrenched in their positions," although the team missed the playoffs for the third time in five seasons and sixth in 10, according to John Vogl of the BUFFALO NEWS. Black said, "They'll be back next season. I didn't see a need to do anything otherwise at this juncture." He added, "The fact that we didn't make the playoffs this year when we had high expectations, that is a colossal disappointment. Sometimes success and winning aren't necessarily the same thing. I think we're building a successful franchise that can win the Stanley Cup." Black also said, "The few players that I've talked to, and it's not in a formal interview process, they universally said that they're disappointed that they didn't win for [Owner Terry Pegula]. I think there was a real sense of pride that they play for Terry. ... They want to be Buffalo Sabres, and they want to win for this owner" (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/12). In Buffalo, Jerry Sullivan writes Black has come up with a "new, even more imaginative way to rationalize missing the playoffs" than his predecessors. The Sabres "decided not to conduct a season-ending press conference," and evidently, Pegula "did not feel compelled to explain why he kept his general manager and coach for a 16th season." Most NHL teams "don't trot out the owner after the season." However, most teams "don't have an owner like Pegula, an avid fan who is the unquestioned face of the franchise." Sullivan writes, "I don't expect management to be happy when people are calling for changes. But by hiding, they seem as thin-skinned as the previous regime. Pegula has been treated like a conquering hero in this town. He can handle a few tough questions" (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/13).