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Pegula can start with a bulldozer

Column as I see 'em:

*It looks as if Terry Pegula could have control of the Sabres by the end of the month, and the change can't come soon enough. Pegula needs to take over well before the Feb. 28 trade deadline, so he can begin cleaning house and put to rest any notion that this ill-conceived team is a contender.

The Sabres are 10 points out of the last playoff spot, despite their recent 4-0-1 streak. They came home from that run and fell apart in a 5-2 loss to the Flyers. They're now 4-12-3 against the current top eight teams in the East. That's not a contender, but a fraud.

If they lose tonight against Carolina, they'll be nine points out of ninth. They play the Islanders three times in the next six games, so another little streak is possible. Don't fool yourself. The Sabres are going nowhere. It's time someone had the power, will and resources to tear apart this stale operation and start building a real winner.

I'm told Pegula is a huge fan of the Sabres and a harsh critic of the organization. Let's hope he lives up to it.

*Please, Bills fans. Marshawn Lynch breaks off one sensational run in a playoff game and you lament that he's gone? We knew he was capable of the occasional "Beast Mode" run. But let's not forget the countless times Lynch hesitated at the line of scrimmage and failed to hit the hole like a mature running back should.

He's no Fred Jackson, and the numbers support it. Jackson: 647 career carries, 4.4 average per rush. Lynch: 852 carries, 3.9 per rush. That's a full half-yard. Jackson is a better receiver, a better pass blocker, a better teammate and a far better man. Trust me, you won't envy Seattle fans the next time Lynch embarrasses himself in public.

*Jonny Flynn is the subject of trade talk in Minnesota, and he isn't surprised. "If you look at the depth chart, something's going to happen," the Niagara Falls grad told reporters in Minneapolis. "It's inevitable. It's just who and when."

Flynn, the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft, missed the start of the season after hip surgery. He came back a month ago, but hasn't unseated Luke Ridnour as the starting point guard. Flynn is averaging just 4.6 points and 2.6 assists in 17 minutes a game. Meanwhile, Ricky Rubio, who was taken by the Timberwolves with the fifth pick of the '09 draft, is playing well in Spain. The T-Wolves expect Rubio to play for them next year.

That's quite a logjam at point guard, which leads to trade talk and makes you wonder why they drafted point guards back-to-back in the first place.

*The Bills can say goodbye to Nick Fairley. Auburn's defensive tackle was virtually unblockable in the BCS title game. Fairley was the best player on the field by a mile. He was a relentless, nasty force and established himself as the clear No. 1 choice in the draft.

*The Patriots got 18 touchdowns from tight ends this season, 16 from rookies Rob Gronkowski (10) and Aaron Hernandez (6). Bills tight ends scored one TD in each of the last two seasons, and the position has produced 14 TDs in the last six seasons combined.

*Ryan Miller has allowed four or more goals in seven of his last 13 appearances. Miller gave up four or more goals in a game only seven times in the entire 2009-10 regular season.

*It won't be such a shocker if the Seahawks win this week. On Oct. 17, they went into Chicago and won, 23-20, sacking Jay Cutler six times and holding the Bears to 61 yards rushing.

*Half of the Bills' games were against teams still alive in the NFL playoffs. They were 0-8. Dick Jauron must be proud.

*Auburn finished 14-0. Tell me again how a playoff system would result in teams playing too many games?

*You won't get me involved in any Canada-bashing. I feel a greater kinship to them than, say, Florida or Texas.


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