BUFFALO (LGS) — Maybe Darcy Regier and Larry Quinn would be better suited staying behind closed doors for the foreseeable future as this afternoon's press conference did little to improve the morale of Sabres Nation.
If anything, today's press conference made most supporters feel even worse after going through yesterday's Black Sunday ordeal that saw the Sabres lose two of the most important and loved players in franchise history.
If it wasn't before, it should now be crystal clear to you that the two men leading the Sabres are frankly not suited for their jobs.
Quinn and Regier did their best to blame the marketplace as the reason they couldn't bring both players back -- or even one of them for that matter. The two men still fail to understand that they could have easily set the marketplace a long time ago by offering their co-captains fair contracts weeks, if not months ago.
They continued to blame the players, their agents, arbitration and anything else they could conjure up. It wasn't until the media kept grilling them relentlessly before they begrudgingly admitted that they wished they could have gone back in time to change some of their approaches.
But why admit that now? Especially when it was the fans and media screaming at the Sabres for many years to change their negotiation policies. Time after time, the Sabres' brass told us all that they were smarter than all of us. They knew better, they knew what they were doing and whether you liked it or not, that was that.
In addition to seeing Quinn and Regier reeling in excuses, we learned today that Quinn is really the man in charge of the Sabres. Regier appears to be nothing more than his puppet, one that Quinn constantly had to talk over.
The Sabres' general manager went as far as saying his team wouldn't be as competitive next season. He agreed with a reporter that suggested the Sabres might be the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NHL. A reference to the Pirates' ability of building great players only to lose them to the rest of the league.
Regier even implied he knew it was a mistake letting both co-captains go before Quinn jumped in to fortify the Sabres' official stance.
During the presser, Quinn blasted Buffalo News reporter Bucky Gleason for implying the Sabres could have signed both players much sooner. He blasted him for suggesting Chris Drury didn't sign in Buffalo because the Sabres essentially gave Daniel Briere his walking papers.
For those of you that have been reading my reports the last few weeks, this is nothing new. I stated in no short terms that Drury would not return to Buffalo unless Briere was coming back as well. A source told me last night that Quinn offered Briere the "Ted Nolan" offer, which is one that he knew would be refused. When that happened, Drury was done as well.
Quinn was irate at the suggestion of a link between the two co-captains. If everyone knew there was a link, it would have be Quinn's failure for losing both players because Quinn couldn't get over his personal indifference with Briere.
Instead, the Sabres' managing partner said the reason Drury picked New York over Buffalo was because the team's former co-captain wanted to go to the Rangers so he could be closer to his hometown of Trumbull, Connecticut. Quinn strongly suggested Drury was always going to the Rangers no matter what Buffalo or anyone else did.
That was a flat out lie, just like the one Quinn gave us last summer when he said the leaked slug logo wasn't the final version.
If Drury was deadset on heading to The Big Apple, why didn't he sign at 12:01? Why did he meet with the Los Angeles Kings Sunday afternoon according to TSN? Why was his agent taking calls from a dozen or so teams?
Gleason was right and he knew it. Drury didn't want anything to do with Buffalo because Briere and he were closer than most people thought. Briere admitted as much yesterday after signing with Philadelphia when he confirmed that the two players were in constant contact with each other since the end of the season.
Buffalo was either getting both players back or neither. One didn't want to return without the other, even when the big money was there for Drury.
Now the irony of ironies.
Tonight's MSG Broadcast of "Sabres 12 to Remember" is Buffalo's 7-4 win over the New York Rangers on October 14th when the entire Western New York region was savaged by the surprise October Storm and subsequent blackouts.
That night, Sabres fans couldn't watch Briere and Drury, who ended up scoring his first career hat trick, because most didn't have power.
Next season they won't be able to watch the two superstars on Buffalo not because of not having power; rather, they won't be able to watch them because of the powers that be, namely Quinn and Regier.