The Buffalo Sabres have the perception right now that they are a train wreck, a joke, a punch line at other’s expense.
Don’t believe that.
It might look like chaos with Pat Lafontaine stepping down a day after the Sabres traded away their captain Steve Ott and goaltending superstar Ryan Miller, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The reality is that the Sabres haven’t had a logical defined course of action in a long time and now they do. They can thank their newly hired GM Tim Murray for that. You see, Tim Murray has a vision, and that vision has the Sabres acquiring as many quality pieces for a proper rebuild as they can. That includes making trades like the one they made with Ryan Miller and Steve Ott. It will also include potential trades with Matt Moulson, Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, Christian Ehrhoff, and/or Tyler Myers.
The drama that has transpired with the Sabres was rumored to be a power struggle about the Ryan Miller trade and Ted Nolan’s coaching status. It is believed that Lafontaine was a staunch supporter of keeping both Miller and Nolan.
Further irking Lafontaine was the fact that he was told he would get last say on hockey personnel decisions. This has obviously not been the case as Tim Murray is clearly calling the shots.
Sabres Hockey Prez LaFontaine was told he had final say over hockey decisions. Once GM was hired, LaFontaine wasn't getting final say.— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) March 2, 2014
Fortunately for the Buffalo Sabres it has been Murray calling the shots because it is with him that the Sabres stand the best chance of digging out of their misery and rising back to contender. If Pat Lafontaine wanted to have his hand in everything why didn’t he just hire himself as the GM?
Ultimately it’s Lafontaine who looks foolish, not the Sabres. This is the 2nd time Lafontaine will be leaving an upper management position in the NHL after a very short period of time. Both times will be because of perceived slights.
Some say that Lafontaine stepped down because he wanted to go back to NYC and reclaim his prior job with the NHL, that is nonsense. This was a lost power struggle. Lafontaine either took his ball and went home or was fired.
Sabres faithful shouldn’t be looking at this situation as a negative. They should be looking at this as a complete positive. The right man won the power struggle in Buffalo. The Sabres are in a great position with the assets they have to trade as well as the draft picks they already possess. Most importantly the guy calling the shots knows what he is doing.
As long as Tim Murray is calling the shots in Buffalo, they will do just fine. No need to worry about the other petty drama. I haven’t said this in a really long time, but I really like what the Buffalo Sabres are doing. Give it time; but the Sabres won’t be the butt end of jokes for much longer.
Thanks for reading!