The problems the Sabres have been having this season after spending so much money this summer are making everyone cranky, including columnist Jerry Sullivan from The Buffalo News.
Sullivan has had it with the Sabres losing ways and wants to see things change drastically. He wants to see GM Darcy Regier fired, coach Lindy Ruff fired, and trades to be made all over the place. Most of his frustrated vitriol, however, was saved for Ryan Miller.
Sullivan says that owner Terry Pegula’s harsh words for his team’s goaltending were pointed at Miller and says that Miller’s poor performance this season is due in part to something much more personal. He also says Miller’s mind might be elsewhere because his wife is in California.
Piggybacking off of Bucky Gleason’s assertion that Miller trade talks happened with the Anaheim Ducks for Bobby Ryan is a daring move and one that only helps feed the fire for talk that Miller might actually want to be out of Buffalo. Sullivan sticks to his point, however, saying that there’s no longer any reason to consider Miller untouchable and that dealing him before his value falls off further would hurt the team.
Getting Miller figured out serves the Sabres better than trading him when his value is at its lowest. Besides, repeating the mistake the Sabres made when they traded Dominik Hasek for Slava Kozlov back in 2001 doesn’t sound like a recipe for championships to happen in the first place.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.