Burning Daylight

This is Gilbert Perreault. Buffalo’s new owner loved watching him play, and with good reason. Perreault was a wonderful talent, a breathtaking skater with a punishing shot and a sublime ability to deke the opposition out of their jocks.

Edmonton Oilers fans could teach Buffalo’s new owner–and their fans–a thing or two about the gift of getting a young owner who is also a fan. It’s pretty cool, but it isn’t perfect.

Edmonton’s Oilers and Buffalo’s Sabres have a lot of things in common. Both franchises enjoy a rabid fanbase but have also had ownership issues that have recently been solved by new money owners. Daryl Katz brought a brand new day to Oiler fans in 2008 summer, and Terry Pegula is a big hero in Buffalo these days.

Since Oiler fans have three years head start on the Buffaloes, let’s help our eastern friends with 10 things they might expect to see over the next few months:

  1. A big time chase for available talent, which may or may not include Dany Heatley.
  2. Too much patience from ownership with regard to the current management.
  3. Some free agent mistakes that linger like stale coffee at a roadside diner.
  4. Painful firings of front office people who also hang around in vague job descriptions.
  5. Hiring the new GM at least three times after Regier gets kicked upstairs.
  6. More painful free agent signings.
  7. A declaration of a "rebuild!" two years after new ownership takes over and shuffles the front office deck.
  8. A galling inability to address extreme need on the major league roster.
  9. An annual pre-spring bloodletting of the best team talent at the trade deadline.
  10. A lot of lottery picks. Lots and lots and lots.

It’s all good. Make sure your new owner improves the scouting and there will be good things on the way.

There are some advantages for Buffalo fans. No arena fight, plus Regier and Ruff have lots of experience and may be able to spend the extra money wisely (Kevin Lowe had a splendid spring 2006). Oh, one more thing: you may be on the other side of a Vanek offer sheet, but don’t feel bad. God knows it’s been done to you enough over the years and maybe your guys will do a better job than our guys.

Here’s hoping Buffalo fans watch the new owner grab a Stanley with that new money  and the wisdom acquired via front office experience. Daryl Katz isn’t quite there yet, but it took Mike Illitch about 15 years to figure it out. Mileage varies from town to town.

  • Where are the NationRadio podcasts? I’d like to catch up on the show. Can’t find anything here or on the 1260 page.

    Oh, and there’s no way Buffalo fans end up in a sh!tanusly bad situation like we’ve had.

  • How the heck does a hockey player who retired in the early 80’s afford to buy an NHL club? Any idea what his business adventures were after retirement. Didn’t get much of anything, other then hockey career, out of wikipedia.

  • Why does a small northern New York State city still have a NHL team? People who complain about Edmonton should visit Buffalo. American junior player Emerson Etem called Buffalo a “Ghost Town” and said it “makes Medicine Hat look like paradise”. My answer to my opening question is that Buffalo still has a team because of all the support from the cross-border Canadian fans. My opinion is that this city doesn’t deserve a team.

    • Ender

      I wondered about this comment, so I did some research. The results were a bit surprising.

      2009 City Population
      Edmonton: 782,000
      Buffalo: 271,000
      Medicine Hat: 61,000

      So maybe the Medicine Hat thing is a bit ‘out there’, but still . . . that Buffalo has just over a third of Edmonton’s population is a bit surprising. The city’s ammenities weren’t anything to write home about either. All things considered, I can’t see why I’d want to live there. If the best thing they have to offer is their travel schedule . . . well, I expected to see more. Maybe there’s more than just the ownership headstart that will see the Oilers win a Cup before the Sabres.

      • Ender

        The Metro Buffalo area is over 1.1 million and that isn’t metro like Edmonton – Ft Saskatchewan is considered metro, that is metro like Toronto-Mississauga is metro.

        In other words it’s effectively one big city.

        The way the US incorporates their cities is different from Canada, you would be surprised where Edmonton would rank in population within the US when only looking at the City proper.

      • Petr's Jofa

        The Buffalo–Niagara–Cattaraugus Combined Statistical Area is home to 1,203,997 residents.

        If the neighboring Regional Municipality of Niagara in Canada is included, the population of the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Region is 1,631,418 residents.

        Additionally, Buffalo-Niagara is considered to be a part of the Great Lakes Megalopolis, which contains an estimated 54 million people.

      • Ender

        kinda reminds me of Vancouver. Vancouver itself is a small pocket in the middle and smooshed up against the coast.

        I remember driving there when I was a kid and we couldn’t get all excited like driving to Calgary and pointing and saying “hey, it’s Calgary! We’re almost there”.

        Instead it was like city after city and bridge after bridge and if you blinked you missed the actual Vancouver sign. All of a sudden you are IN Vancouver. The city of Vancouver is really a small portion of the “Greater Vancouver” area.

        I know you know that, but it brought memories of roadtrips when I was a kidlet. S’all good, Number 2!

  • Dan the Man

    I was thinking about the bullet the Oilers dodged by hossa not signing here. Can you imagine paying hossa 9 million a season for 7 more seasons? Ugh. Good thing management decided to ignore glencross (who has 21 goals so far) and go after hossa (currently sitting at 13). What a ***tshow.

  • I wonder if Regier gets Lowe disease?

    When Lowe was on a budget he made a lot of good value moves and always seemed to find NHL Dmen under rocks for free.

    Once he had $$$ he seemed to lose his acumen and seemed to default to expensive=good.

    Will be interesting to watch.

    • Dan the Man

      If I win Lotto Max this Friday I guarantee that I will make a few stupid decisions with my money.

      Then my wife will let me know that I can no longer make financial decisions and put me in charge of something less important like the kids and hire a financial advisor that bides his time and doesn’t really do anything.

  • Ender

    @ Rick
    @ Petr’s Jofa

    Your argument that the statistics aren’t completely apples to apples is fair, but if you look at it in greater depth Edmonton still comes out as the more populous center. The disparity in the figures lessens significantly, though, and you are correct to point it out.

    As Jofa states, the Buffalo–Niagara–Cattaraugus CSA has 1,203,997 people. It’s also 4059 square km. Compare that to Edmonton’s 782,000 population in the city limits itself, which is comprised of only 684 square km.

    I get that Buffalo is one giant, sprawling urban landscape, but the population is still lower than Edmonton and all they’ve done is spread their population through one huge metropolitan area. Given the choice, I’d rather have fields and trees surrounding my large urban population instead of aging industrial and commercial zones.

    @ Harlie
    Your diplomacy is matched only by your wisdom. Hat tip to you.

    • O.C.

      I wasn’t commenting in order to start some debate or disection of population statistics.

      I was just pointing out that the comparisons, as you made them, don’t show what you are suggesting.

      Twist it if you want, your revised interpretation still don’t prove anything more than your other post.

      As far as I am concerned Buffalo would rank below Edmonton in terms of desirable places to live but that doesn’t mean that from a franchise perspective Edmonton holds some advantage through population or even more of a stretch population density over Buffalo.

      • Ender

        I don’t really give two squirts about the population of Buffalo either. I was just surprised to hear a comment from a pro hockey player describing what I had thought of as a major American city as a ‘ghost town’ and that Medicine Hat looked good in comparison. My comment was really only to express surprise that the statement was closer to the mark than I had first given it credit for. Beyond that . . . dead issue.

  • fuck off

    I happened to interview for a job in the Buffalo area several years ago. It is an economic deadzone. You can cry all you want about Edmonton but this area and this province is bustling economically. The best thing about Buffalo aside from their wings are their cheap flights to other US destinations. There are reasons why Buffalo has never won the cup and may never….

    • O.C.

      I am a huge Hemsky fan and a deal that has got me thinking is…

      Schenn, Greene, Simmonds for Hemsky and Cogliano???

      The only way I want the Oilers to get rid of Hemsky would be with an overpay from another team.

      I wonder if this deal would be considered an overpay?

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        I found it interesting last night when Mckenzie was laughing that a good prospect + pick doesn’t = Shenn and that LA wouldn’t be trading him.

        Then on the Edmonton radio they were talking about Schenn + what would land Hemsky

        • Ender

          If I am ST, I don’t even look at a deal for Hemsky that doesn’t include Schenn+ or Bogosian+ (or similar).

          Hemsky is still going to be worth the “rental player” price at next year’s trade deadline – so if there isn’t a deal that is “to goo to refuse”, I wouldn’t be making a deal for Hemsky at all.

          • Ender

            I wonder how many people are going to be surprised and/or upset when the trade deadline comes and goes and Hemsky, Penner, Smid, and Cogliano are all still here.

            Tambellini has already said on the record that he has absolutely no intention of making a trade, the only exception being if a team is desperate enough to overpay for someone. Now, Tambellini has said other things before that have been blatently wrong (the most recent example being about not waiving Souray without an offer in place) but still – the guy has told everyone that he’s completely comfortable with and actually has plans to stand pat.

            I see a lot of people coming unglued next week when Tambellini goes ahead and does exactly what he’s already told everyone he’s going to do, which is exactly nothing.

          • Ender

            I won’t be upset if he doesn’t make a move at all (exsecially for Hemsky); although I would like to see Cogliano gone for the simple fact that the coaching staff doesn’t seem to play him in the correct role.

            For me, Cogliano should not see single second of PP time and should definitely not be in the middle of two of our most productive wingers.

            Oops! Got off topic there.

            There is no need for the organization to make any moves at the trade deadline unless it involves an overpay by another team. Any tweaking that needs to be done can be done at the draft or during the summer.

          • Ender

            thanks man!

            And this is a general question, not sure if you or anyone else knows. But I was wondering if Souray could be placed on Waivers again? If so, I expect at least 1 move out of ST. For Souray to re-appear on waivers just before the deadline.

            We’ll see if the deadline desperation is as intense as it sounds and if so maybe Souray moves. Doubtful but no-one predicted the latest Souray waiver wire.

          • Ender

            They can put Souray on waivers every second day if they want to, but it’s a little disruptive to the team because it temporarily eats a roster spot to slot an imaginary player.

            After what happened last weekend, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Souray hit the waiver wire once more at the deadline. It would surprise me if anyone bit.

  • Ender

    Interesting how economics play in sports. Colorado is shedding salary in order to become a min cap team. Dallas is owned by the banks and is on a tight budget. Atlanta is on life support from the league and barely hanging on. FLA, Nashville, Carolina are all reportedly in crappy financial states. I would love to see a few of these teams simply go under, kaput…then it would be great to see some of the players grovelling at the chance to play in a solid hockey city like EDM. We need a wikileaks on that player survey so that those players that rated EDM so low as desirable teams to play on can eat their words when all the jobs dry up in the NHL and they gotta go to Russia or Europe.

  • positivebrontefan

    I agree. Leave it alone unless as ST has said we can VASTLY improve our team. That would equate to an overpay from some one desparate for a Hemsky or a Penner.

    That puts Paul Stastny and Colorado out of it as they are no longer realistically in a playoff hunt. Here to hoping that Peter Stastny keeps opening his yap and ruins it for Colorado.