Yes, indeed, despite the promise of impending labor Armageddon and a prolonged work-stoppage, your friends at Puck Daddy are previewing the 2012-13 NHL season (whenever the heck it starts). Why? Because this is the most important election in the history of all-time ever, and you need to know the candidates — starting with the Buffalo Sabres.
“Welcome to Pegulaville”, Sabres fans said and were told last season when owner Terry Pegula broke open the chequebook and declared an end to the miserly ways of the past. Never has a one-percenter been so beloved by the middle class as during Pegula’s first summer. Finally, the Sabres had the money to contend. Pegula went out and made up for the wrongs of July 2007, when Danny Briere and Chris Drury walked, signing skill guys like it was going out of style.
Unfortunately, it was out of style — the game had changed since 2007. The league was tougher, clutchier, and grabbier, and the Sabres discovered they had spent a lot of money getting more skill while failing to account for the grit factor.
Granted, it didn’t help that highly-paid acquisitions Christian Ehrhoff, Robyn Regehr and Ville Leino struggled to adjust to their new team, and the revamped roster struggled to find an identity as a result. Soon, the Sabres’ identity was as an underachieving team at the bottom of the league, though a late-season*turnaround provided some hope.