The more I think about this Mike Grier thing, the more I like it. It’s not that I think the difference between a good team and a bad team is Mike Grier, but I definitely respect Darcy for the message this signing sends.
Think about it.
The last time Mike Grier was a Sabre, Jason Pominville and Derek Roy were barely NHL regulars and Thomas Vanek was being benched in the playoffs. On his way out of town, Grier specifically said he thought the team was headed in the wrong direction, and he was proven right.
And this is the guy who will be plopped into the existing locker room dynamic?
Regardless of Grier’s personal motivations, I think this is a big move for the Sabres from the perspective of locker room chemistry. There will be another veteran leader in the room, and not just any leader, there will be a guy who already knows what the team is capable of, both good and bad.
Not to mention the roster implications. The forward roster looks pretty darn crowded now, particularly if you assume that Kennedy and Gerbe are ready to make to leap to the NHL. Is Staffy on the block? If not him, then who? Paille? MacArthur? I think a little nervousness will serve this team well.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think this was a savvy move. It’s a small move that could have big implications. Do I think the Sabres are going to be magically good now? No. Good heavens, no. But I do think this is a step in the right direction, and for the first time since I became a Sabres fan, I’m pretty impressed with Darcy’s craftiness.
Keep tinkering, Darcy. Don’t stop just yet.