Tonawanda News — When I saw the “major announcement” notice on the Sabres’ Facebook account, I thought, “Huh.”
It’s probably nothing, I told myself. It’s a new jersey announcement or something.
But when I saw more and more media organizations picking up on it, I thought “Maybe ...”
When the first leaked reports of what might happen appeared, I ignored the fact that I was supposed to be on my way out to an interview and turned on the newsroom television, just in time to confirm that the Buffalo Sabres had fired General Manager Darcy Regier and head coach Ron Rolston ... and hired former Sabre Pat LaFontaine as president of hockey operations and former head coach Ted Nolan as interim head coach.
(I admit it. I am completing incapable of saying LaFontaine’s name, even mentally, without making it LalalalalalaFontaine. I bet you are too.)
Now, I love LaFontaine. I have no idea how he’ll do in this particular role. No idea at all. But the man is a class act with more than his share of personality and charisma. He knows his hockey and gives a sh#@ about Buffalo. So I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. And whatever you think of Nolan, he brings a lot more experience to the rink. And some charisma of his own. “He won’t accept this bland, robotic losing with no personality,” one friend said.
But it didn’t take long for the snarking to start. Of course.
It’s a PR move, they said. It’s a gimmick. They were only chosen because of their Sabres background. It’s the 1990s all over again.
Look, I get it. Everything old is new again. Ha. Ha. Ha.
And frankly, snark and pessimism aren’t precisely new ways for Buffalo sports fans to deal with their issues. And we have issues. Come on. You can’t argue that we don’t. Lots and lots of issues.