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02-21-2013, 02:15 AM
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Some more bullseyes from various media outlets - it's astounding how unanimous the feeling that Regier is equally, if not moreso, to blame and should be kicked to the curb is:

And so Regier, whose blind loyalty to Ruff kept the struggling coach employed years after his best-by date, finally made the call to let him go on Wednesday afternoon.

Ruff is a good man and an excellent coach, but his message had gone stale. It was absolutely the right decision by Regier…and absolutely the last one he should be allowed to make.

The culture of losing that permeates this franchise won’t be any easier to disinfect than the Carnival Triumph. Installing a new man behind the bench might be just the tonic elsewhere, but in Buffalo it’s the equivalent of slapping on a new coat of paint. Regier has assembled an ill-fitting mix of parts. There are too many small forwards, the defense is soft and ineffective and there’s a serious deficit of character. This organization needs to be stripped down to the frame, and rebuilt from there.

And that’s why Regier should have followed Ruff out the door.

But now that he’s gone, it’s time to reevaluate everyone else, starting with 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 Pegula can remain patient and watch it pay off next time.
Pegula knows what he needs to do. He said it at his introductory news conference. He said he wanted the Sabres to be the best in the league at “finding,” “developing” and “keeping” talent.

Is Regier the best man for that job? Should he be the one making moves down the stretch before the Sabres are even in position to decide on the permanent coach? What about up-and-coming executives, like the Nashville Predators’ Paul Fenton, the Los Angeles Kings’ Ron Hextall and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Claude Loiselle?

Pegula needs a GM with a strong vision. He needs his GM to surround himself with a strong staff and his own coach. And then, yes, he needs to give more resources, more time and more patience before he ratchets up the expectations.

But even Ruff’s smarts could not overcome a series of bad personnel moves by Regier. Pegula opened his wallet and the Sabres payroll ballooned to $65-million in the last two seasons, but they have missed the playoffs in three of the last five years. High-priced acquisitions such as forward Ville Leino and defenceman Robyn Regehr failed to live up to their salaries. Defenceman Christian Ehrhoff is the best of the team’s big-money players, but that is only by comparison to the rest.

But Pegula’s loyalty to Regier and Ruff quickly ended the honeymoon with the fans and media. The watch is now on for the other half of the tandem to fall.

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