Lindy Ruff

Buffalo writer calls out owner, wonders why Regier and Ruff haven’t been fired


Even with the Sabres beating the Islanders last night, things don’t look good for the Sabres.

Ryan Miller has, more often than not, saved their bacon on defense but their issues are obvious (lack of scoring depth, giving up too many shots, poor defense) and for some in Buffalo have been there for too long without anything being done about them.

That’s where The Buffalo News’ Bucky Gleason comes in. His column in today’s paper excoriates owner Terry Pegula for turning the Sabres into a team to be laughed at.

Here are some choice snippets.

And the general opinion from a wide range of hockey minds – general managers, scouts, agents, league officials, former players – is that Pegula’s success in the real world means almost nothing in the sports world. Most are stunned Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff have survived when common sense called for their dismissal long ago.

Yikes. What else though, Bucky?

In truth, his affection for the Sabres, while admirable, has worked against him. They needed a cold, distant evaluation that would have revealed changes were in order. Members of his inner circle told him to clean house. Instead, he became smitten with Regier and Ruff. He embraced status quo and, with that, accepted mediocrity.

For what it’s worth, the Sabres have 11 points and are tied for eighth in the East with Philadelphia, Winnipeg, and Carolina. That’s not esteemed company at the moment given how those teams also have issues of their own.


Buffalo makes Tyler Myers a healthy scratch

Lindy Ruff states the obvious: “We need to win games”

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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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:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

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, 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 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.