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Where have I been? I had no idea that Buffalo was home to such a large group of independent business management consultants. What a bonus for Buffalo Sabres management, all this free advice. Next time you need a good laugh, turn on a local "sports" radio talk show and listen to the host and caller debate the particulars of running a multimillion dollar business: It's a hoot! Uninformed opinions spouted without regard to consequence. Ah, the bravery of being out of range.

I love hockey. I even love the way it sounds when I say those words out loud. And, I loved Pat LaFontaine in a Sabres uniform. But jeepers, out of a possible 460 games or so, Patty missed about 200. Would all of you business management experts out there keep a guy on your payroll when he didn't show up 40 percent of the time? I doubt it. He's a fabulous player, and even better, a fabulous American player. But realistically, he's a gamble.

For all of you experts out there that means he's a bad investment. As reported by the informative Jim Kelley, the Sabres can't afford the gamble right now, not in this case anyway. Additionally, the last full season Patty played, the Sabres didn't even make the playoffs. He's going to have a wonderfully productive year for the Rangers. That is, if their gamble pays off.

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