Saturday, July 7, 2007

Bucky Gleason Sucks: A Letter to Bucky

(Blogger doesn't want to let me put in a title for some reason so just pretend the title area says BUCKY GLEASON SUCKS.)

Other blogs (Desperation Hockey and Bfloblog, just to name a couple) have already addressed this, probably better than I will. But I have to get this off my chest and hey, that's what blogs are for, right?

Bucky Gleason sucks. I mean, he really, really sucks.

It's bad enough that his columns are one-note. No matter what's happened, no matter how it came to be, it must be Darcy Regier's fault. No matter how good the team is, Regier could've made it better. No matter how much money a team threw at a player, Regier should've either thrown more or gotten him to agree to less. No matter why a player chose to leave Buffalo, Regier could have and should have stopped him. Bucky's been beating his anti-Sabres management drum loudly and repeatedly as long as I've been in Buffalo. Only he could take the lovely story of local boy Todd Marchant's day with the Stanley Cup and turn it into a lesson on how "real" organizations do things and why no Sabres player will ever, ever, ever get his day with the Cup, not in a million billion years.

But Gleason's behavior at the Sabres press conferences over the past week have solidified the fact that he's an idiot of the highest order. His "Is it possible I know something you don't?" was snotty and immature. His domination of the discussion coupled with him taking Regier to task for having the gall to interrupt him was unprofessional. Bucky, I hate to break it to you, but the press conference was not called so we could all listen to you talk. We don't care how you think Darcy Regier should run his team and we certainly don't care how you would do it if you were in charge.

And that leads to my biggest problem with Bucky Gleason. Maybe this would be somewhat acceptable behavior - somewhat - if it seemed like he had the slightest idea what he was talking about but he repeatedly shows that he's lacking in that area.

Bucky, negotiations are not just a GM making an offer. You don't just pick up the phone and say, "I've got a contract here for you, I'll send it right over." The player has to be open to negotiations, and guess what? Sometimes he's not. Sometimes, like Vanek, he knows there are other offers coming down the pike and he wants to see what they are. Sometimes he knows he's close to UFA status and he wants to see what other teams are willing to offer. Sometimes he knows he's just blossoming and doesn't want to commit to a long-term contract at a lower price. Players know what they're worth and what they're going to be worth and if they don't, their agents sure as heck do. There are many, many details that go into a negotiation and I don't know, something tells me Regier has more experience here than you.

Bucky, just because a guy tells you later that he would've signed back then for less money, doesn't make it so. I have no doubt that some players are sincere - or think they're sincere - when they say that, but it's awful easy for a guy to say, after he's signed a shiny, new contract somewhere else, that he would've taken less from his old team. Come on. Stop acting like players are sentimental and unselfish. They are, more often than not, looking out for number one.

Bucky, big names are not necessarily the best signings and I'm not sure you understand the players you're harping about. You can throw Sheldon Souray's physical stats around all you want, that's not going to make him something he's not. Despite his size, he's not a physical, gritty defenseman and you seem to be under the impression that he is. Heck, Bucky, some nights he's barely a defenseman. His shot is all over the place. He turns over the puck a lot. He doesn't carry the puck well. Maybe his willingness to shoot from the point helps the powerplay, but Souray doesn't bring much to the table that we don't already have. Bucky, if you were a GM your team would be the New York Rangers. "Oooh, I've heard of that guy. He MUST be good. Sign him up! The more expensive the better, right?"

Sekera deserves a spot on the Sabres over Teppo Numminen? Give me a break. Teppo's old, I get it. Why would you bring in a veteran player (which you seem insistent that we do since Drury and Briere evidently experienced the last two years all by themselves) who might not produce and might not mesh with the team when you have Numminen who you know will produce to a certain level and who the kids on the team respect if not flat out adore? I mean, have you listened to Brian Campbell talk about Teppo? It's adorable. And I don't know if you've been paying attention, but salaries have gone a little crazy over the past week or so. Two point six million for a little veteran presence, some continuity in the room, and a very dependable, if unspectacular, defenseman seems like a pretty a-okay deal to me.

Bucky, at some point the players have to play. Darcy Regier put an awesome team together last season, one that absolutely could've won the Stanley Cup. I don't know what happened in the postseason, but I do know one thing - Regier can't be blamed for the debacle that was Game 3 of the ECF, the worst of a string of lackluster efforts. But I suppose the players on your team would always, always play to the very best of their abilities.

Bucky, Darcy Regier has been the GM of the Sabres for ten years now. Despite the fact that he's in a small market and despite the fact that he works with a bunch of idiot GMs who are constantly shooting themselves in the feet and doing more harm to the market than good, he's put good team after good team on the ice. Larry Quinn said it today - there's only one team in the NHL that's made it to the conference finals more in that time period than the Sabres. In a market that's all over the place with players moving here and there, that's pretty impressive. Doesn't there come a point where even you have to admit Regier might have SOME idea what he's doing? The fact that you refuse to do so is the ultimate example of how little about hockey you really know.

In closing, Bucky Gleason sucks.


Meg said...

Larry Quinn said it today - there's only one team in the NHL that's made it to the conference finals more in that time period than the Sabres. In a market that's all over the place with players moving here and there, that's pretty impressive. Doesn't there come a point where even you have to admit Regier might have SOME idea what he's doing?

Heather, Heather, don't you know that Regier's success is not based on results? It's based on how closely he sticks to what the Buffalo News writers in general, and Bucky in particular, would like him to do. And obviously anything Larry Quinn says is worthy of derision because he's Quinn, even if it is something that can be empirically proven. If Quinn said that the Earth orbits the Sun, Bucky would probably claim that he was full of it.

brian s. said...

Meg, I think the Earth does orbit the Sun, unless we're still living in the Middle Ages. But the point being made is valid. I do know that while we may not understand at the time what Darcy is doing, it seems to have worked out well except for the period when the team was bankrupt. But I think we should be able to forgive him for that, even though the team was still fighting for the last playoff spot, so it's not like they weren't competitive.

Meg said...

Meg, I think the Earth does orbit the Sun, unless we're still living in the Middle Ages.

Brian that was kind of my point. ;) We all know that the Earth orbits the Sun, but if Quinn said so, Bucky would be, "the Sun totally goes around the Earth, bitch. Copernicus and Galileo were fools! They would have let Briere and Drury get away!" Because Quinn has to be wrong about absolutely everything.

brian s. said...

Right. That went right over my head the first time.

Kevin said...

Dear Top Shelf,

Will you totally be my blog girlfriend?



Bitchany said...

Dude that guy was pissing me off...and I didn't even know who he was.

Kate said...

Amen, sister!

Also, awwwwww. BfloBlog and Top Shelf sitting in a tree!

Kate said...

Does any else feel literally hung over from this week? It was only a week ago that free agency started.

I wish the new season started today.

Heather B. said...

Kate, I just don't know what Buffalo is going to do for the next 80 days or so until training camp starts. We're not going to have to listen to people complain for all that time, right? People are going to calm down, right? (Please say right!)

This jackhole over on Sabres Edge is pissing me off big time. Why am I still reading that much less commenting much less ARGUING? Don't I know better? I totally know better! I'm so worked up I had to break out the Ben and Jerry's (Brownie Batter, for the curious).

Heather B. said...

Dear Bfloblog,

I'm blushing. You are the smartest, handsomest blog I know. Yes, I will totally be your blog girlfriend!


Top Shelf

Kate said...

Heather we might need to create some IPB-style fictional intrigue to keep us occupied. Perhaps Goose and Soupy are on a hot air balloon trip around the world right now. They are having all sorts of comical adventures. Let's think about THAT. We definitely should NOT spend any more time trying to figure out what happened with Briere and S,PW. They left us because they are slag-faced whores. That's IT. End. Of. Discussion.

Gambler said...

Heather, you could fill a library with the things Bucky doesn't know, but thanks for limiting it to just one blog post.

Kate, that Soupy and Goose image is hilarious! I say we roll with it.