Kukla's Korner

The Sabres Observer

Sabres, Please Let This Be It

Someone please tell me this will be over soon.

I've stated in this space repeatedly that it would be much better for the Sabres to finish 30th than 20th this season. 

Like they always say -- be careful what you wish for.

Oh, I'm still on board.  All the way.  The thought of having one of the two best forwards in the NHL playing on my team for 15 years is beyond enticing.

But, I have to tell you, come this summer I'm so done with it.  No more rebuilding or tanking talk for me.  Because what I've been going through watching Sabres games these past two seasons is driving me off a cliff.


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I don't need encouraging but hollow words from Ted Nolan on how well his team played in the first period last night against a very good yet temporarily disinterested Detroit club.

I don't need any more unkeepable promises from a grim-faced Josh Gorges that losing isn't acceptable and they're going to figure this out.

What I need is for either Tim Murray or Terry Pegula to tell me that this nightmare of bad, boring hockey will be over soon.  Tell your fans that the next phase is going to kick in starting with the June draft.

Tell us that the mission for next season will be to make the playoffs.

Maybe it's silly to think they'd come out and say something like that anytime soon.  Fair enough.  Just show me then.  Take a few assets from that gigantic pile of futures and turn them into a player like Ryan O' Reilly, Taylor Hall or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.  Do it on draft weekend or during this offseason if that's the best time, but please just do it.

The results of the draft lottery shouldn't alter this plan one bit.  The Sabres need to show solid progress next season whether they get one of the McEichel brothers or not.

It's good that Pegula decided to take some bad medicine and go the long-term rebuilding route, and we fans have shown some incredible patience during the process, but enough is enough.  I'll do this want-my-team-to-lose thing for 35 more games, and that's all -- even though I already can't take it anymore.

I can't take any more of Cody Hodgson floating around the outside of the ice, about as far away from the net as fans in the lower bowl, even if it is only for 7 minutes per game.

I shudder at the thought of seeing Andrej Meszaros and Andre Benoit stumbling around in their own zone for another season.

I'm counting the days until Drew Stafford either is moved on trade deadline day, or his contract expires, so his underachieving play can become someone else's problem.

I'm going to burst a blood vessel if there are debates in October about whether Torrey Mitchell or Brian Flynn played well enough in preseason to get a look on the second line.

I don't care if the buzz surrounding 2016 draft sensation Auston Matthews catches fire in the next few months and he suddenly becomes the biggest prospect since McDavid.  I'm already having nightmares, breaking into a cold sweat while hearing Sabres fans robotically chanting "Lose Often For Auston".

I've heard some in the local media predict that the team will go all out this summer to build a roster that can compete for a spot in the playoffs.  But I haven't heard it from anyone within the organization itself.

And this team, even with McDavid or Eichel and a handful of other new players, seems worlds away from being consistently competitive.

Many of us thought that kicking the likes of Matt D'Agostini and Zenon Kenopka to the curb this past summer, and making some notable roster changes along the way, would eliminate the awful taste of what we saw last season and at least elevate the Sabres to respectability.  One year later and nothing on the ice has changed.  In some ways, things have gotten worse.

The 2016 draft will be right here in Buffalo.  That could be quite the opportunity for Sabres management to walk up to the stage in their own building to show off their latest prized prospect and announce, in whatever clever way they want to put it, that the rebuild is over and it's time to win.

But that's an eternity from now.  They wouldn't consider planning for one more year of suffering, would they?

Please tell me they wouldn't.


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Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink
  Tags: sabres+rebuild


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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.

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