Archive for the 'Management' Category


Worst top to bottom review ever.

Coach Killing

Kate: I think the Sabres are trying to get Lindy fired.

Heather: I hate those little bastards.

Kate: Yeah, but you have to admit, this team needs a shake-up.  Either the players or the coach has to go, right?

Heather: I HATE that it’s come to this.  This is the WORST season ever.

Kate: Totally.

Heather: I don’t think Darcy would ever fire Lindy.

Kate: Well, then Darcy has to go too.

Heather: That’s AWFUL.  I LOVE Darcy.

Kate: I know you do, but I’m sorry both Lindy and Darcy have to go.

Heather: What if they’re only gone temporarily? We tell the Sabres, ‘You’ve lost your Darcy and Lindy privileges for the rest of the season!”

Kate: I’m not sure that’s enough.  The Sabres have to think they’re GONE, and that it’s ALL their fault.  They need to feel really, really guilty.

Heather: But could we TRICK the Sabres into thinking that Darcy and Lindy are gone forever?

Schnookie: Maybe Lindy and Darcy should fake their own deaths.

Kate: Oooooh.  I like it.  Maybe a murder-suicide…..and maybe they could leave a note like, “Dear Sabres, look what you did!  You drove us to kill ourselves and each other!”

Heather: ….What?  That makes no sense.

Kate: Who cares!  It’s the Sabres, they’re not very smart.  These deaths don’t have to add up.  We just need the Sabres to think they have Lindy’s blood on their hands.

Heather: Oh, Pominville would HATE to have Lindy’s blood on his hands.

Kate: He totally would.

Heather: All of the players would be wracked with guilt, and then with Lindy and Darcy “dead,” I can be the GM and you can be the coach.


Heather: I like how this plan is coming together.

Kate: Me too.  So….we send Lindy and Darcy off to Europe to live in secrecy, tell the Sabres they’ve been murdered, and take control of the team.

Heather: Do you think the Sabres would really buy it?

Kate: Of course.  They’re idiots.

Heather: Maybe we should get a hair sample from Lindy first.  You know to leave at the scene of the crime.  DNA evidence to prove he’s dead.  Maybe a finger or two…

Kate: I’m sure that Lindy would sacrifice a pinky for “Operation: Freak the Sabres the Eff Out.”

Heather: Heh.  He totally would.  If we can’t get his hair we can just use yellow baby duck fuzz follicles.  We only have to fool the Sabres here.  Pominville and Staffy would TOTALLY think little tufts of baby duck fuzz is proof of Lindy’s death.

Kate: Then, we could plant the seed that WE killed Lindy and Darcy, and if the Sabres don’t shape up, THEY’RE NEXT.

Heather: I honestly think that that might be the only way to make them stick to the system- if they think they’ll literally die if they don’t.

Kate: I bet Pommerdoodle would have cleared that puck on Saturday if he had thought his life was on the line.

Heather: It’s foolproof!

Kate: Crunchy would probably get all uppity about “solving the mystery”.

Heather: Ugh.  That guy can’t just let ANYTHING be.

Kate: But maybe solving the mystery can be the thing that brings the team together!  They can solve the crime, prove we killed Lindy and Darcy and then learn that in order to win games they have to work together.

Heather: Ooh! Ooh!  I HAVE A REALLY GOOD IDEA!  What if, we “accidentally” left a book called “The System: Lindy Ruff’s Guide to Solving a Murder,” sitting around in the locker room for the guys to find?

Kate: So, they would find the book, read it, and then SOLVE LINDY’S MURDER BY STICKING TO THE SYSTEM?!

Heather: It’s PERFECT!

Kate: Can Lindy’s “system” for solving murders be oddly similar to his “system” for playing hockey?

Heather: Totally.

Kate: Like, ‘Step one to solving a murder: with three second to go in a game, make SURE to hit the puck hard enough off the boards to CLEAR THE ZONE.’

Heather: We can plant more and more fake clues about the murders as they improve their game.  If they play a whole game without any disasterous turnovers we can leave a note in Vanek’s locker like, “I am an anonymous tipster moved to help because of the defensively sound game I just watched you play.  If you want to know who killed Darcy and Lindy make sure you know who benefited from their deaths. If you keep playing well, I’ll give you more clues.”

Kate: Do you think Vanek is smart enough to solve that clue?

Heather: No way, but presumably he’d show the note to Ryan Miller.  Crunchy can figure it out.

Kate: Then, once the Sabres have been whipped into shape by fear of death, and compelled to work together to avenge Lindy and Darcy’s deaths, it can be revealed that Lindy and Darcy are NOT really dead!

Heather: And everyone is happy….and not dead OR fired!

Kate: …and everyone is good at hockey again!

Heather: Hooray!

Kate: We’re going to be the best GM and coaching team EVER!

*high five*

The End

Oh Sabres, I Could Never Stay Mad At You. I SHOULD, but I Won’t.

Because I am a member of the Sabres Blue and Gold Club (the paying season ticket waiting list), I was offered the opportunity to purchase a mini-pack this season.   A mini-pack is good to have because you get first dibs at the regular season tickets and the opportunity to buy playoff tickets in the event the Sabres make it to the playoffs (fingers crossed).

The story is too long and WAY too boring to tell, but the process of actually GETTING the mini pack has been one of the most irritating things in the history of the world. I won’t bore you with the details, but in my short experience, NOTHING has gone smoothly when dealing with the Sabres box office.  It’s a total clusterfuck over there.  After several WEEKS of frustrating non-communication with them, I got my credit card statement today and realized that, to my great surprise and horror, no tickets had been purchased.

Again, the story of how I got to this point with them is boring, but to put my level of distrust with the Sabres ticket office into perspective I can tell you that it never ONCE occurred to me that my problem could be solved over the phone today.  My experience dealing with them over the phone has been so horrendously unhelpful, that I didn’t even consider calling the Sabres box office.  I hopped right into my car and drove to the arena to kick some ass.

A quick word about me: I’m not a very feisty consumer.  I am a Minnesotan after all.  Civility and politeness are extremely important to me.  It’s not in my nature to pitch a fit when I feel I am getting poor service; HOWEVER, every once in a while I get a bee in my bonnet.  This usually happens when I feel a line has been crossed into the territory of THIS IS NOT RIGHT. I never raise my voice, and I try to be mindful of the poor person who has the unfortunate job of dealing with a pissed off Katebits, but on the rare occasion when my hackles go up I am an unmovable beast.  I was fully prepared to stage a sit-in in the Sabres offices today.  I was ready to declare war.  The level of customer service I have received from the Sabres has been RIDICULOUSLY bad, and I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE.

So, I arrived at HSBC Arena, and I went storming into their ticket service area armed with righteous rage and a cauldron of boiling oil to throw on them in case they tried to put up a fight…….and then the very nice lady behind the counter solved my problem in about twenty seconds.  Seriously.  It was comical how quickly my ABSOLUTE RAGE dissolved into warm fuzzy feelings of Sabre-y happiness.  The tickets are coming.  My credit card will be billed.  All is well.

The Sabres really need to pull it together with how they run their box office.  It’s not right to be so discombobulated when dealing with a fanbase that loves the team so dearly.  At every stage of my experience I have been left feeling totally unsure about the transaction.  I feel like I am throwing my money into a black hole and hoping it turns into Sabres tickets.  I think I’m an excellent Sabres customer and all I really ask from the box office is that they are clear in their communications with me- but the bottom line is, I love the Sabres much more than I hate their box office, so I am stuck.

On my way into the arena I was prepared to dramatically overturn office furniture in a display of my mighty fury, and one minute later, on my way out, I stopped and paused to look at the giant picture mural and thought to myself, “I’m in the arena.  Hockey is coming back.  It’s almost here. It’s almost here.  It’s almost here.  Hooray!”

The happiest dumbest happiest customer in the world.

The Deadline Looms

I’m not going to lie. I’m going to be a little peeved if Soupy is still a Sabre tomorrow on Tuesday. (It has come to my attention that the trade deadline is on Tuesday, not tomorrow. My bad. It’s this attention to detail that makes mine such a vital voice in the hockey blogosphere.)

I wish him well, and all the happiness in the world. This is his chance to cash in on all his years of hard work, and I do not begrudge him that. I just don’t think the Sabres should be the team to fork over the cash, and if Darcy can grab few tasty prospects by trading Soupy, well, then that’s what I think he should do.

Mmmm…..tasty prospects…

Buffalo, I’m Proud Of Us.

For some reason, against my better judgment, about an hour and a half ago, I turned on WGR. For those of you outside of Buffalo, WGR is our sports talk radio station. Usually, WGR makes me want to kill myself because it’s incredibly angry and insane. I have no idea why I thought it would be a good idea to listen to the radio during the peak of the Brian Campbell intrigue. You’d think that the hours upon hours I spent listening to people freak out about the Briere and Drury last summer would have taught me to JUST SAY NO when it comes to WGR, but apparently not.

I just listened to caller after caller express concern about signing Brian Campbell at the expense of the upcoming free agents. A very high percentage of people who called in seem to believe that Soupy’s value to the Sabres is highest as trade bait. People are keeping their heads! They are listening to reason! Schopp and the Bulldog are NOT having temper tantrums. They are calmly adding up the numbers and deducing that if we sign Soupy to what he wants, the team will be committing too much money to too few players. Even Schoop was amazed at the tone of the calls.

I….don’t understand. Buffalo, where is the loony-tunes outrage? Where are the over-the-top accusations of management skin-flintery and incompetence?

Where’s the craaaaazy, Buffalo?


I’m feeling a little wobbly these days, not just because of my SARS, but also because of the stench of despair emanating from the Buffalo sports scene. I don’t know what is going to happen with the Bills, but I do know it’s depressing to think about from almost every angle. I didn’t see the Bruins game, but after reading about it, I had to revisit the Sabres Meditation. I don’t care what happens with Brian Campbell. At all. Please Darcy, get Soupy to sign on the dotted line or send him away. And do it soon. (And Darcy, from a public relations standpoint, now would be a good time to announce new RFA contracts for Goose and Paille. Just saying.)

I think I’m ready for summer.

*lies down on floor*



UPDATE: Hey, guess what? I wrote this post right before I performed a lively and funny Family Concert down at old Kleinhans Music Hall. I feel so much happier after a nice, wholesome musical afternoon. I would like to offer some advice to my fellow weary Buffalonians. If you are feeling low about the Bills or the Sabres, you should try a concert because it might make you happy. It’s worth a shot. Support your local arts organizations, people!

The Solution

Scene: Lindy Ruff’s hotel room. Lindy and Darcy Regier are sitting with Ryan Miller. Lindy and Darcy are sitting on one side of the desk, and Ryan Miller is sitting on the other.

Crunchy: What are we doing here, guys? I’m exhausted. Tonight was supposed to be my night off and instead I get dragged into the worst game I’ve ever been a part of. I just want to go to sleep and try to forget about the L.A. Kings.

Regier: I know that tonight was not the game we were hoping for.

Crunchy: (death glare)

Regier: Listen, Ryan, I’m going to cut right to the chase. We want to talk about your contract.  I realize that the team, as it currently stands….is not necessarily appealing for you. We want to find out what it would take, to make you happy.

Crunchy: (raising his eyebrow [the whompy one]) Listen, I’m not going to negotiate my contract without my agent, plus I’m really pissed off. I can’t deal with this right now.  This isn’t even legal.  We can’t discuss my contract until next season….and you better fucking believe you are going to pay top dollar if you want to keep me.  Top. Dollar.

Lindy: (gently) No, you don’t understand son.

Regier: (leaning in towards Crunchy) Ryan, we want to know which of the Sabres you feel comfortable having in front of you. We want you to sign this piece of paper, legally binding you to the team, and in exchange, you can tell us which of your teammates you want to keep, and which you want to get rid of.

Crunchy: (perking up with surprise) Wait. I can tell you who to fire?

Regier: All you have to do is sign this paper. (slides a piece of paper across the table) Simple as that. We’ll fire whoever you want.

(Crunchy immediately picks up the pen and signs the paper)

Crunchy: Now, here’s how I want the team to look by next seas-

Regier: (interrupting) No, wait. We can’t do it like this. This room might be bugged. (whispering) Afinogenov has been bugging our offices for years. What we need you to do is write the names of the guys you want us to fire on this piece of paper. Just write the names of the guys you want gone. Do you understand?

(Crunchy nods. Regier slides a second piece of paper across the table. Crunchy picks up the pen and begins writing. The room falls silent except for the sound of the pen as Crunchy furiously scribbles. The clock ticks symbolically as Crunchy writes and writes. After several minutes, Lindy and Darcy exchange a concerned glance. Crunchy’s hand begins to cramp from all of the writing. Soon, his pen runs out of ink, so he grabs a fresh one off the desk. He turns the paper over and begins to write on the back. When both sides of the paper are full, he writes in the margins. His second pen runs out of ink. Fifteen minutes pass, and finally, Crunchy slides the paper back across the table.)

Lindy: (glancing warily at the completely filled sheet of paper) I don’t think you understand, son. We want you to write the names of the players you want to fire.

Crunchy: Yeah. (with wry smile) That’s what I did.

(Lindy and Darcy exchange a meaningful glance)

Regier: But, this is everybody.

Crunchy: No, not everybody. Just most. It probably would have been easier to ask me to write the names of the guys you want me to keep. (picks up second piece of paper and writes for exactly 1.5 seconds) Here, I want you to keep these guys.

Regier: (picks up the list of players to “keep”) There are only two names on this list, and one of them is “Sabretooth”. You have put us in a tricky spot here. I mean we knew we were going to have to fire Max, Campbell, and probably Vanek, We were prepared even for Roy-Z, but now we are legally obligated to fire the entire team……by Saturday. I’m not sure we can get new guys in here in time. (looking at “to be fired” list again) What?! Ryan, we can’t fire Drury from the Rangers, and I hardly think Mike Robitaille can be blamed for any of this.

Crunchy: Whatever. (grinning) Listen, I’m getting a second wind here. Do either of you guys want to grab a drink?

(Crunchy stands up and stretches his arms above his head with a yawn. A peaceful smile spreads across his face.)

Lindy: Um, no. We were hoping you would be willing to stay here tonight and discuss the plans. I mean, this wasn’t exactly what we thoug-

Crunchy: No. I’m going out. I’m good. Thanks though. You were right, Darcy. This was a good idea.

Regier: You realize you just signed on with the Sabres for the next seven years for the league minimum, don’t you?

Crunchy: Really? Oh, well, that’s cool. Just make sure to change the locks on HSBC arena before we get home.

(Crunchy leaves the room whistling.)

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
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