A dark cloud in a winning year

There have been plenty of feel-good stories in the world of Western New York sports during the pandemic. Regionally, there have been storybook seasons for the University at Buffalo football team, the Buffalo Bills and the current run by the St. Bonaventure Bonnies in basketball.

On the flip side, the Buffalo Sabres are the ultimate horror show. On Wednesday morning, unpopular Coach Ralph Krueger was terminated. He — like so many other previous coaches for the team — is not the problem.

Just like with the Bills, it’s all about attitude. For the last 10 years, especially since former General Manager Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff have left, it has been worse than mediocrity.

No-names and recyclables such as Krueger, Ron Rolston, Ted Nolan, Dan Bylsma and Phil Housley were not able to cultivate a winning attitude. That’s due in part to a Sabre scheme in 2015 to lose and win a top draft choice.

In that instance of being the worst, the team succeeded. Unfortunately, it still does not know how to win.

Sure, they can change coaches — and probably will do so again in the next year. But this problem is all about the culture of the organization.

Until that gets fixed, the losses will continue to mount.


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