ADVERTISEMENT

Pegula must make tough decisions on Sabres

When Terry Pegula, an unabashed Sabres fan, bought the team, I rejoiced. He was like me: someone proud of the team’s history, someone who bled blue and gold, and someone for whom losing was a punch in the gut.

Only, unlike me, he had the financial wherewithal to do something about it. Big money free agents? No problem. Aggressive trades? You got it. Win the Stanley Cup? No, we’re going to win Cups. Those were the promises. I even understood not cleaning house on Day One; he knew nothing about running a hockey team, why make a snap decision? Besides, it’s hard to fire someone you respect, and he clearly admired Lindy Ruff as a coach, a player, and a man. Mr. Pegula, after all, was and is, a Sabres fan.

But right now, we don’t need Terry Pegula, the fan; we need Terry Pegula, the businessman. No one just gets to be a billionaire, you must be bold, shrewd, tough, and resourceful. I’m sure he cancelled contracts that weren’t panning out. I’m sure he fired good people because they weren’t performing well enough.

That’s the approach needed here. This team is floundering, and whatever plan they’d put in place isn’t working out. Moreover, they’re relying on the architect of that failed plan to right the ship. That’s ludicrous. You don’t go back to the dentist who pulled the wrong tooth, and you sure don’t keep the GM whose teams have missed seven of the last 11 playoffs, who botched Drury/Briere, and who’s whiffed on 7-of-16 first round draft picks. It’s time for Mr. Pegula to stop being a fan; he must step in and, beginning with Darcy Regier’s removal, make the difficult decisions necessary to turn this team around.

Marc Rummenie

East Aurora

Dragging their feet on Byrd makes no sense for Bills

What is wrong with the Bills? Their arguably best player, Jairus Byrd, can’t get a contract that is worthy of his talent. Why? The consensus everywhere is that the Bills simply do not have the talent to compete. Not signing a young All-Pro safety to a multi-year deal makes no sense. The Bills are doomed to mediocrity, with their lack of signings.

Losing Andy Levitre, I can understand. But Byrd could be a cornerstone for the next 10 years. We have a new head coach and a new general manager. When are they going to assert themselves.

Dave Gusmann

Buffalo

Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240. Letters may also be sent via fax to 849-4587 or email to sports@buffnews.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.