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Carte Blanche

02/22/11
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I could write a rambling entry about Terry Pegula’s introductory press conference. I could touch on how he comes off as genuine and not entirely comfortable with the attention he received today. I could talk about how emotional he got as he talked about Gilbert Perreault being his idol. I could dish on his self-deprecating sense of humor and witty nature. I could comment on a handful of any other things, but there are really only two real topics that needs to be discussed.

Terry Pegula made the bold claim today that he’s effectively giving hockey operations a blank check with which to turn the Buffalo Sabres into world beaters. Specifically mentioned were the restoration of the scouting department and creating an expansive player development coach department. Most importantly, he made reference to the rumored handcuffs Darcy Regier had to deal with during the post-lockout years and proclaimed Darcy would have free reign to operate as he sees fit.

While this is celebrated as a stark departure of the frugal behavior toward off-ice personnel during the Golisano/Quinn era, it can also be considered a notice to Regier and his staff – no excuses will be tolerated now.

This declaration of a carte blanche attitude toward hockey ops is also indicative of Pegula’s attitude toward whether or not he needs to make money as a hockey owner. He famously said this morning that “If I want to make money, I’ll drill a gas well.” This is a man who knows fiscal losses may be in the future as he molds the Sabres into his team. Again, it is a stark departure from the Golisano/Quinn doctrine of breaking even first and foremost.

It’s an exciting time to be a Sabres fan, but there needs to be some temperance in our enthusiasm right now. From Pegula’s comments during the question and answer session, he is planning on getting this team ready for 11/12 right now. Let’s all not lose our minds when the Sabres maybe miss the playoffs this season.

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