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Those Sabres gone made contributions to others

I am only a casual hockey fan and don’t have an answer for the troubles the Sabres have.

It’s interesting to me to follow the players that have left Buffalo and gone on to play other places in the NHL.

I guess I can understand that it was too expensive to keep these players and their 102 goals, Pominville (30 goals this season), Vanek (27), Moulson (23), Briere (13), Ott (9).

Here are some former Sabres who have gone on to score these 109 goals, MacArthur (24), Boyes (21), Gerbe (16), Kassian (14), Zubrus (13), Sekera (11) and Gaustad (10).

Maybe these players were not good enough for Buffalo, but another NHL team got pretty good mileage out of them. Most of these players are Darcy Regier picks so perhaps he wasn’t as bad as we were told virtually everyday.

Add those 109 goals to the 157 the Sabres scored and only one other NHL teams exceeded that. That probably would have kept the Sabres out of the basement.

The fans still continue to maintain 97 percent capacity so maybe Abe Lincoln was wrong. Maybe in Buffalo you can fool all the people all the time.

Whitey Nichols

Williamsville

It’s time for state to legalize MMA

New York is the only state yet to legalize professional mixed martial arts (MMA). It’s time for NY to join the other 49 states and make it legal. Legalizing MMA would bring so many benefits to New York that I feel 2014 needs to be the year this happens.

One argument against legalizing MMA, which I don’t understand, is the risk of the sport.

In the NFL, each team has an active roster of 53 players, 1,696 total active players at one time. The amount of injuries in the NFL sidelining a player for eight or more days in 2009 was 1,095. The numbers climbed to 1,272 in 2010, 1,380 in 2011, and 1,496 in 2012.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which is the largest mixed martial arts promotional company in the world, had 386 fights in 2013, 772 total fighters. In 2013, the total number of injuries that cancelled a fight or caused a fighter to miss a fight was 101, three less than in 2012. So I don’t see how the argument of risk adds up.

Those against making MMA legal also argue that it’s degrading to women. I think that’s the furthest from the truth. Women train in MMA and fight in the UFC. If anything, MMA empowers women, not degrades them.

According to Ike Lawrence Epstein, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of UFC, legalizing professional MMA in New York would generate $135 million in economic activity across New York. It would also create jobs and bring more tourism to the state. In turn, local businesses would benefit from the increase in tourism.

With all these benefits, I don’t understand why New York hasn’t legalized MMA yet. Come on, join the rest of the country and make it legal.

Brendon Stoessel

West Seneca

A local resident could be of help to Sabres

Jeremy Jacobs of Delaware North is an excellent businessman, but he has an additional talent.

He is the owner of the Boston Bruins hockey team. Local hockey fans are familiar with the Bruins records that put the team into the elite class over recent years.

I have no idea if Mr. Jacobs can even skate. But I do know that he has had the smarts to continually select great hockey managers and then get out of the way while they perform.

Mr. Jacobs can do a big favor for Western New York hockey fans. He could pick up the phone and over a few lunches give Terry Pegula some tips on how to turn an embarrassment of a club into an elite hockey team.

Can you help us, Mr. Jacobs ?

Herb Bertram

Orchard Park

Red Wings remain a model of consistency

We’ll now that season is over, I can’t help noticing this. Detroit Red Wings, 23 straight playoff seasons. They have tradition, consistency and winning expectations.

The Sabres on other hand, no playoffs on the horizon, some front office chaos (Lafontaine departure) and no elite players on roster. Enough said.

Mike Biondo

Amherst

Writer wants to trade Bills for Blue Jays

It’s just a matter of time but, in my mind, the Bills are gone. Why? There’s more clout (money) out there than in WNY, and they have no intention of leaving the Bills in Buffalo.

And in light of Donn Esmonde’s March 27 editorial on Ralph Wilson (one of his best ever) maybe that isn’t all bad.

So what’s next? Let’s move on and make the best of it.

What’s probably the best asset of WNY? Our beautiful summers.

Let’s trade the Bills for the Blue Jays, expand the ballpark (which is already built and already at the correct location), and bring the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and Orioles to downtown Buffalo for our entire beautiful summer.

How can eight Bills home games stand up to a few weekend series with the Yankees or Red Sox?

I’m seeing hotels which are booked for four-night stays, a waterfront full of fans, and a city full of new life. Do you really want to spend millions of dollars to renovate a dinosaur out in Orchard Park for eight games a year – does that make any sense when fans leave Buffalo immediately after every game with no effect on the area’s economy other than a tank of gas and Thruway toll?

Let’s concentrate on the Stanley Cup in the winter and save our best season for baseball – besides, there’s a pretty good football team in Amherst which could use some more fans.

Hey Rogers Media, come on down. Let’s make a deal.

Phil Parshall

Amherst

College football players are not employees

College football players are considered employees of a university? This notion is ludicrous. The National Labor Relations Board is exceeding its authority in making such a ruling. These are college students, not university employees. Playing football at a university is a privilege, not a right.

The people responsible for this grave error in judgment need to be removed immediately.

John Poole

Kenmore

Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY, 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.