Yeah…Not exactly breaking news when it comes to finding out that Ron Rolston is coming back. I find it to be a bit sad that between Darcy and him coming back, most fans assumed this was going to happen. It is as if the resignation in knowing status quo seems to happen with the Sabres has taken out expectations for getting better.
Everyone just assumed DR&RR were coming back since March. That's how it works with the Sabres, show a little improvement and their management makes it into turning over a new leaf.
I think it even got to the point that fans didn't really care about bringing in a new guy. "Yeaaaaah, just give it to Ron because there's probably not anyone else who is better and wants to come here. Also, we are doomed as long as Darcy is here."
For me, the decision is a mix of indifference, thinking about what fans want, and having zero confidence in Darcy.
The NHL has never been a coaching league to me, hence the reason why everyone gets fired constantly. Seven of the last 11 coaches who won the Stanley Cup were on their 2nd tour of duty, and currently there are 18 coaches who are retreads.
Coaches don't exactly have the pizzazz like in the NFL. When the Bills fired Gailey, you could easily fill a talk show with callers mentioning what coaches you can go after… Gruden, Cowher, Dungy and others. You can't even come close to that with the NHL. The Callers on talk shows would consist of begging for Ted Nolan to return or asking Robie if he ever wanted to coach.
As for the entertaining part…
Although, I don't exactly care, I think I should. Especially in regards to building expectations in this town. You remember when Pegula bought the team, followed by all the rhetoric about winning a cup. Shouldn't fans, myself included, demand this?
RR isn't exactly the most entertaining or colorful figure that is going to make Sabres fans excited. Plus, the changing of a guard can easily rekindle a fan base that has been suffering. Whenever a new coach takes over a team, there is a sense of optimism and excitement. Case in point…the Bills.
They got Doug Marrone here, who was pretty much an unknown in NFL circles up until January. He's not an exciting guy to listen to or has the street cred of being a winner, but hearing a new voice makes most fans rally around that voice. There's a sense of change and excitement in the air because of the new guy in town.
Of course, it will probably go out the window when the Pats decimate the Bills on opening day, but you get the point. New guy=excitement. New guy also takes the pressure off the organization for keeping Darcy Regier. New guy brings a sense of the unknown to a fan base that easily construes that for being exciting.
The most disconcerting thing was how Darcy didn't even go out to interview other candidates. Why not talk to other coaches to gage ideas about the organization? Maybe you will be blown away? I mean, how many times do Buffalo fans have to put up with hiring someone from within, who is down the hallway from the owner or GM? (See: How Buddy Nix got hired or the Bills interviewing 2 people when they hired Chan Gailey.)
You can date other people, Darcy.
Although this is the GM who seems to have the syndrome of love at first sight with his own players, so, it isn't shocking that he always seems loyal to a fault because he just settles for what he seems to know best…and that's his own guys. Once the Sabres gave Rolston the job after the Ruff firing, it was a foregone conclusion if Darcy survived, he'd keep Rolston.
Now, I'd be remised not to mention there are some good qualities to Ron. For one, he did slightly improve the squad over what he inherited, going 15-11-5. They beat the Pens, Habs and Bruins. He has a history in developing younger guys and if the Sabres are going the route for younglings, then it makes sense.
However, what sticks in my craw is that the Sabres always do this. They have always been an inconsistent bio-polar disaster.
Their seasons since 7/1/07 can be described as being terrible for a month, better the next, shitty after that, and then commencing on the heroic run to 8th. A part of me just thinks if they kept Ruff, this would have still been the outcome because it is their norm. Yes, Rolston was a part in beating those teams, but he was also on the bench in losses against Florida, Winnipeg, Tampa Bay and a 8-4 thrashing by the Rangers. It is the same shit, folks.
The bottom line I guess in all of this is that the Sabres need new players here. It has been a broken record on this site for years now. I can't tell you how tired I am with saying this. Maybe Rolston is better at developing than Ruff, but I still have absolutely no hope in Darcy supplying those guys.
Only one center they have developed since he's been here (Roy). A handful of forwards you can hitch your wagon to as being homegrown star players (29 and 26). I don't care what Kris Baker says (I still love you, Bakes), but Darcy has no cred with me. It went out the window last year after being convinced with more money he can steer the ship right. He hasn't.
Yes, I'm being a bit of a curmudgeon here by not doing back flips or acting like the Sabres improving should be met with optimism. Frankly, I fucken hate them. I hate when I see optimism on my Twitter feed because the Sabres are lowering expectations and just re-polishing the same shitty toy for us to play with. It is just rearranging the chairs on the deck of Titanic at this point.
It makes me angry to the point I want to punch fans in the face when they speak happily. OK, I have to stop. I don't mean that. You can cheer as you like, but god damn, why does getting to hockey heaven have to mean taking the scenic route through hell?
I started today with "We will see approach," but now I'm pissed off. Yup, I'm just as inconsistent as the Sabres are at playing hockey.
I am a bitter fan right now who needs to not care about this crap and try drowning my sorrows in a case of booze. You wanna talk about how the Bills are gaining more confidence from the fan base than the Sabres because of the changes they have made? I'm not there yet.
Instead, I'm adding the Sabres to the club I've been in when it comes to the Bills. That both teams are not getting the benefit of the doubt because of so many past failures. That's not progress, that's regression.