Tonawanda News


April 15, 2014

For Sabres, more suffering is on tap


Tonawanda News — Either way they will have a chance to select one of the best young players in the world. They may well have the chance to pick two or even three of them in the first round. (The New York Islanders, who are also in Tuesday's draft lottery, must give Buffalo their first round pick either this year or next; the St. Louis Blues must surrender theirs if they reach the Western Conference finals or resign Ryan Miller after this season.)

Murray was asked how fans — who, like me, will be paying more for their season tickets next year despite the last place finish — should view next season. Murray, who's already crafted an image as a straight shooter, addressed the matter with more tact than his predecessor, Darcy Regier, who infamously said fans would be willing to undergo "a little suffering" to build a winner. 

Specifically, Murray tossed out the idea of a "five year rebuild" as too long. That's refreshing. Many fans, this one included, are starting to wonder with all the kids in the system, how long we're supposed to wait to see if they work out. 

But realistically, the Sabres are as likely as any team to find themselves in exactly this position next year. They're still going to suck. They're still going to lack the discernible upgrades in talent to make them any sort of threat to make the playoffs. Basically, we're going to have to go through this all again next year.

As Murray noted in an interview on Canadian cable channel TSN after his Buffalo press conference, this team could improve considerably and still be in last place, we're that far behind the pack.

I do feel like this team is poised to turn it around eventually. There are some quality young players in the system who will become quality NHL players. Murray has proven in past jobs to be an adept identifier of talent in the draft so one has to hope all these draft picks will further stock the cupboard. Add a few veteran free agent players into the mix to provide some leadership and help show these kids the way and our Sabres could, two or three years from now, be a contender again. At least that's the plan.

I know no one wants to say it because there's some actual hope surrounding the team's direction, but in the short term suffering is still the best way to describe what it feels like watching the Buffalo Sabres play hockey.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter, @EricRDuVall.

Text Only
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo