Terry Pegula started his first news conference about the Sabres in 3½ years by pointing the finger at himself. The mea culpa was a step in the right direction after going backward for the better part of six years.
"Accountability starts with me," Pegula said. "We are not happy with our season this year, and there are no excuses. Six years ago, I stood here and told the Buffalo Sabres fans that the reason for our existence was to win a Stanley Cup. That is still the truth."
He didn't complete fall on the sword, but at least he showed an understanding that he made some mistakes along the way. He acknowledged that he regretted not participating in the search that led to Tim Murray getting hired and, by extension, coach Dan Bylsma. Both were fired Thursday.
Several times, Pegula outlined the franchise's core values – discipline, character, communication and structure – when hiring executives and coaches and acquiring players. It was a clear sign he wasn't happy with GM Tim Murray and questionable characters such as Evander Kane.
It's about time.
But let's see where he goes from here. Pegula showed six years ago when he talked about winning Cups that talk was cheap. Look at the evidence. You'll know things are going in the right direction when their actions back up their plans. You'll know when Pegula can kick back as a successful sports owner.
As I mentioned in an earlier column, it starts with ownership. He made the first move a day later when he held himself accountable before blaming anybody else. That alone was a sign of progress.