Memo to Terry Pegula: That wasn't so bad, was it?
Especially now that we're hearing there's a PR consultant on the payroll, the owner of the Bills and Sabres should stand up and answer questions on his teams once a season. Some years, it may be difficult and daunting. Maybe someday it would be celebratory. But it should be done. So on that note, Friday was a good thing.
Pegula's hockey team is in crisis and he stood before the media and took questions. It was baby steps. It was only 15 minutes, which left lots of questions unanswered. But to say it wasn't informative would be wrong. And it was about the best look we've seen from the owner since the day he cried at the sight of Gilbert Perreault.
Even if you don't agree with some of his answers or philosophies -- and, no surprise, I don't -- it was worth hearing from him.
Pegula fell on his, ahem, Sabre when he said there were no excuses for the club's flat performance and that accountability starts with him. He gave about as forceful a denial as you can give when he called the WGR Radio report on Jack Eichel's demands regarding Dan Bylsma a "complete fabrication"
He said the same thing about a Sportsnet report that the Sabres have already interviewed former Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi, or anyone else, for a position in the organization.
What did we learn? There might be a hockey czar, there might not be. It sounded like first-time GM candidates need not apply, which certainly seems to put two-time Stanley Cup winner Lombardi in the early lead. He regretted not being part of the decision three years ago when Pat LaFontaine hired Tim Murray as GM.
The biggest takeaway in this view was when Pegula clearly swiped at Murray with his discussion for the need for better communication, structure and character in his organization.
It's well-known Kim Pegula was not fond of Murray's style and it would appear Terry agreed. The owner said he had made no decisions about his coach or GM until he met with them this week. While that seems dubious, it did leave the door open for Murray to have provided answers on what happened and what he could do going forward.
Pegula made it clear he wasn't happy with what he heard and has moved on. Fair enough.
Of course, the PR consultant must have told Pegula to keep saying "we're not talking about the past." Well, the owner is a work in progress still.
Hey, Terry: How about 30 minutes next year?