An amazing offseason for Buffalo sports fans

No matter how old you are, if you follow the Sabres or Bills, you’ve had your share of heartache. Sure, there was  Wide Right, No Goal and the Music City Miracle, but I’m speaking more about organizational issues.

Mismanagement is the worst thing to see as a fan, and sometimes it seems so obvious what the franchise needs to do when playing armchair quarterback. I equate it to your place of work – if the people in charge are doing a shoddy job of management or are just in it for the almighty dollar, it’s very hard to do your best work or even care very much.

Yes, as Buffalo sports fans, we’ve put up with a lot. That’s why it’s so insanely great to see the turnaround by the Sabres in such a short time. Recently on BSN, Scott detailed the many changes Terry Pegula was able to affect in a very short time.

On top of those changes, over the past several days we’ve had even more reasons to believe in Hockey Heaven and and an eventual Stanley Cup. The Sabres landed their first big-name free agent in Robyn Regehr – a guy who any hard-nosed hockey fan would love to have in their lineup. Regher is just the first piece of the puzzle and there’s much more to come, but this signing goes a long way towards proving to any non-believing fans out there. That is, if there were any doubters left.  This Regehr deal is huge because he’s the first domino towards getting other free agents to come to Buffalo.


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Pegula is reminiscent of Teddy Roosevelt. He and his Roughriders have already reshaped the Sabres organization in his image. They also have a live herd of buffalo deep in the bowels of HSBC that they will ride forth on to kick off the 2011-12 season. Well, it's just a rumor.

Another big deal recently was that the sale of the Rochester Amerks went through. For a little more insight on the Amerks organization and how the sale went down, check out this story at the Henrietta Post.   Things like this are instilling a sense of confidence among the Sabres faithful.

To top it all off, the Sabres draft seems by all accounts to have been a very good one. Now, I’m no expert of young hockey talent, but both Joel Armia and Daniel Catenacci are talents that slid to the Sabres. In Catenacci’s case, he slipped a whole round from what was projected.

The Sabres simply seem to be doing all the right things that we as fans want to see. When a team is going in the right direction, the feeling is that the team is doing exactly what we as fans would do if we were in control (or perhaps if we were on franchise mode in NHL 11). I remember this feeling with the dynasty Bills of the 90s. We’d lose a player or two, but bring in some other great names in free agency like a Bryce Paup or Chris Spielman.

It’s the feeling I’ve had in watching the New England Patriots the entire past decade making cut-throat moves that are smart and make immediate sense. You can’t fool the fans. When a team is doing the wrong things, we know it, and we will let ownership know it. And when our team is doing all the right things, we know it, and man, does it feel great!

The Bills may not quite be on the same trajectory towards immediate success, but I personally have the feeling that we have the right people in place in management and are headed in the right direction. Bills GM Buddy Nix knows talent and Chan Gailey is proving to be an excellent head coach.

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They've got the right attitude at least. And where can I get some Zubaz?

So let’s sip our drinks in the heat of the summer sun and enjoy this offseason secure in the knowledge that both of our major pro sports teams are heading in the right direction. It’s a beautiful thing.


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