Kukla's Korner

The Sabres Observer

School Is In Session

While some NHL teams are laying off employees, the Buffalo Sabres are educating theirs.

From Chris Botta of SportsBusiness Journal and featured in Buffalo Business First,

Sabres University was created in response to team owner Terry Pegula’s mandate to use the downtime during the lockout to become better as an organization. Sabres staffers have not sustained any layoffs or pay cuts as a result of the lockout.

“Terry told us to use this time wisely and find ways to improve how we do business,” said Sabres President Ted Black, who is joining general manager Darcy Regier as the “professors” of a class in public speaking. “We figured this program fits in with the culture here to make this a destination for players and employees.”

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The Fallacy Of Fan Backlash

So here we are again, being taken for a ride by corporate entities and professional athletes who can’t agree on how to ration all of that ridiculous money they get from our generous spending on overpriced tickets, lamp-heated arena food, and jerseys that seem to become obsolete every other year.

Last time this happened, the players turned a blind eye to the state of league economics because they had it made and didn't want the party to end.  In this current episode, the owners absurdly want to undo the deal that they themselves forcefully imposed on a fragmented union seven years ago.

Most of us who’ve been around the block a few times understand that the NHL will survive this lockout just fine, but some angry fans are proclaiming that there will be a backlash with enough impact to put a huge dent in the pocketbooks of the owners.

While their passion for this great game is admirable, their sense of history seems to be lacking.

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Don’t Blame Me For Insiderr Interview

Audio Segment Was Byproduct Of Fans’ Rumor Obsession

Some of you who read and hear my material might be feeling a little dirty today, the day after.

I am admittedly guilty of bending the rules by using my platform, on one of the most popular sites in the hockey world, to interview a person with no credentials other than cleverly manipulating a dull and somewhat depressing offseason to wedge himself into the consciousness of rumor-starved fans and begrudging mainstream writers everywhere.

Feedback on Monday’s interview with Hockeyy Insiderr has been overwhelmingly positive, but it’s certainly no surprise that reaction from some fans is on the acrimony meter somewhere between displeased and disgusted.  To those of you in the minority, I do admire the faithfulness to your standards and completely understand and respect your position.

But I don’t regret what I did one bit.

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Speaking Candidlyy With A Self-Proclaimed Insiderr

He’s been a subject of ridicule, a source of entertainment, and a lightning rod amidst a storm of hockey rumor bloggers that have infested twitter and the internet.  He states that he seeks to avoid attention - but his actions, which have riled fans and writers (and resulted in his being featured in numerous mainstream newspaper articles) suggest the contrary.  And we’ve got him right here on the air for 40 minutes.

Tune in as Hockeyy Insiderr defiantly calls out Darren Dreger along with members of the Buffalo media, shows regret for the Wayne Gretzky incident, responds to criticism from yours truly regarding his claim to have broken the news of trades and free agent signings, and announces when he’ll reveal more clues about his identity.

Listen or download the audio below…

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Sabres Enforcer Training In Traverse City

From James Cook of The Traverse City Record-Eagle,

Ironically, [John] Scott dislikes fighting smaller players, such as [Cam] Janssen, who is 6-0, 210.

“I hate it,” Scott said. “I would rather have a guy who is bigger who likes to punch, rather than a small guy who likes to hide. I don’t like fighting Janssen. He’s tough to fight. But if you’ve got a guy my size or a little bit smaller, then we just throw. That’s what I enjoy. No defense; just go at it.”

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Critiquing Buffalo’s Team-Sponsored Hockey Radio Show

As we approach the 2-month anniversary of team-sponsored hockey radio in Buffalo, how do the early returns look for this experiment?

Both Joe Pinzone of BuffaloWins.com and I wrote about “Sabres Hockey Hotline” when it was announced in June, and we recently put on our critic hats and reviewed the show during a Sabres-themed podcast.  That portion of the program is the final episode of our 5-part audio series.

Listen or download the audio below…

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Addressing The Sabres’ Recruiting Problem

What do Brad Richards, Rick Nash, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, and Shane Doan have in common?  Besides being NHL superstars, the Buffalo Sabres weren’t mentioned as serious contenders to land any of them.

Joe Pinzone of Buffalo Wins thinks he knows why, and so do I.  In episode 4 of our 5-part audio series, we each give one main reason why the goal of Terry Pegula to make Buffalo “Hockey Heaven” is still a work in progress.

Listen or download the audio below…

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Are Sabres Prospects Being Overhyped?

Are expectations for first-round picks Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons too high?  I don’t believe so.  In episode 3 of my 5-part audio series with Joe Pinzone of Buffalo Wins, things get a bit heated as I try to quell Joe’s propensity for shooting down fan excitement over Buffalo’s highly regarded prospects.

Listen or download the audio below…

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Debating Player Salaries And Alex Semin

Do fans and media obsess over how much money teams spend on players?  Alexander Semin’s 1-year experiment in Carolina could be a case study. 

In episode 2 of my 5-part audio series with Joe Pinzone of Buffalo Wins, we debate the importance of team salary structures, and I explain why paying Semin $7M to play a season in Buffalo would’ve been an awful idea.

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Sabres Announce Variable Ticket Prices For 2012-13

The Sabres have announced the variable ticket pricing plan for all home games in the 2012-13 season. There is a breakdown into five classifications to determine ticket price: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Value.  On the schedule are one Platinum game (Dec. 26 vs. WSH), ten Gold games, fifteen Silver games, nine Bronze games, and six Value games.

A breakdown of ticket prices for the 2012-13 season is as follows:

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About The Sabres Observer

Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003.  He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene.  Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.

2014-15 NHL Reverse Standings

 

 

 

 

Email: dd@kuklaskorner.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]

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