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Darcy Regier’s plan actually not so bad

I can see the forest from the trees. I’m buying into Darcy Regier’s plan. Most of the past Stanley Cup winners had to drop to the very bottom of the league before rising to the top and winning Stanley Cups. The Sabres have been mid-packers for most of the last 15 years. That means mid-first round selections. This is the year we bite the bullet and free fall to the bottom.

Hopefully we wind up with the overall top pick and a franchise player. Darcy is collecting draft choices and next year we’ll have two firsts and three second round picks, so far. Darcy wants more. Last year we drafted two mammoth defensemen with first round picks. We now have three 6-5, 240-pound defensemen. Has any team ever had that size? We have the largest scouting department in the NHL and it is imperative that we hit these picks next year. It’s always darkest before the dawn so let’s just suck it up for a year and reap the benefits for the next 10. Instead of calling for his job, give Darcy a hug and let him know it’s going to be all right, because it’s going to be special, soon.

Phil Gibson

North Tonawanda

Sabres need someone to light fire under team

I think it’s time Terry Pegula, the businessman, give some advice to Terry Pegula, NHL franchise owner. His downtown business venture, HarborCenter, a hotel, retail, and hockey complex is going great guns, sure to make millions of dollars and become a jewel of downtown Buffalo. The project is headed by John Koelmel, former head of First Niagara, who took a sleepy local bank and made it into a regional power. The Board of Directors of First Niagara didn’t quite like his style or results, and removed him as president. So now you have an extremely qualified business leader, who now possesses another trait, a chip on his shoulder. Put a business superstar with a chip on his shoulder in a situation where he’s out to prove his foes wrong, and he will accomplish greatness.

Terry Pegula, the NHL franchise owner, needs to follow the example of Terry Pegula, the businessman. Find and hire an NHL managerial talent with something to prove, a chip on his shoulder, and the Sabres will prosper immediately. Darcy Regier has proven to be a genius in his own right. Over the course of numerous owners, he has insulated himself from failure by surrounding himself with hires who owe him their livelihoods, and will be forever loyal. They may fail, but he goes on. This latest rebuilding scenario has almost guaranteed him two more years of employment, setting expectations so low that anything resembling an NHL team is a raging success. It’s a sad state of affairs given the tradition of the Sabres, one that Terry Pegula loves and embraces.

We don’t need teachers as coaches, that’s what assistants are for. We need a man who will inspire his players, over the long season, to come out like a pack of wild dogs every game, playing as though their hair is on fire. The fans who look at their ticket stubs and wonder why they paid so much to watch an irrelevant and boring hockey team at least deserve that effort. That is unfortunately not the new tradition Terry Pegula, via Darcy Regier, is now asking the Buffalo fan to endure. Reaching for average is the new mantra. They say hope springs eternal, but not for $100 a ticket.

Ken Wojcieszek

Snyder

Not much to cheer about after Bills season ends

I have often heard that hockey season doesn’t really heat up until the Bills season ends. Looks like this year hockey season will be over when the Bills season ends. Vanek jerseys make great Christmas gifts.

Alan Bojarski

North Tonawanda

Buyea was a legend at Cleveland Hill

The Cleveland Hill community and the youth football community has suffered a huge loss this past week with the passing of Kent Buyea. Kent was the oldest member of the Western New York Football Coaches Association and never missed a session. He always sat in the front row and took diligent notes and had plenty of questions for each speaker. Although in his mid-eighties, he took a youthful approach to coaching and never lost his love and compassion for his players or the game of football.

I taught and coached at Cleveland Hill for over 30 years. When I began my career, Kent was coaching youth football and baseball in the Cheektowaga area. He was considered then as a great coach. His demeanor was perfect for any level of coaching. He was kind and considerate and a student of the game. His legacy radiated throughout the community. A man of dignity and compassion, Kent was humble as well. Kent didn’t yell or scream, he just coached and taught.

His children and grandchildren attended Cleveland Hill and participated in many extracurricular activities and all excelled. Of course, every boy played football for the Eagles and each became a respected contributor to their teams, they all learned from the best.

This past winter, Kent again attended every meeting, looking towards the next season and preparing for the future. I loved and respected Kent Buyea. His legacy should be acknowledged throughout the Western New York community. We lost a great one but his lessons live within so many. Thanks Mr. Buyea or as he always said, “it’s Kent.”

Carl Kuras

Lancaster

Kelly family grateful for support after loss

On Sept. 12, prior to the Williamsville South football home opener, our family formalized the donation of a new sound system for the renovated press box. This gift was made from a memorial fund established by family and friends of our late husband and father, Michael T. Kelly. Mike coached in the South football program for 28 years. He also served as announcer for numerous JV and all-star football games that were played at South. Thus, we felt that it would be very meaningful to memorialize Mike in the stadium press box.

The care, support and love shown to our family when we lost Mike were overwhelming. We will be forever grateful to Brad Dietsch, Mark Kensy and Dan Troy for establishing the memorial fund. Thank you to Brad Bisbing and the Buffalo Bisons for being a source of joy during Dad’s life and hosting the primary fundraising event. We have done our best to personally acknowledge each person who made a donation; for those we missed, please accept our family’s heartfelt appreciation. Finally, thanks to South Athletic Director Kevin Lester and Principal Keith Boardman for their assistance in this very special project as well as the pregame ceremony.

Thank you all for helping us to honor the memory of a remarkable husband, father, teacher, coach and human being.

Go Billies!

Scott Kelly

Franklin, Tenn.

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