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Letters / Our readers speak out

Correct retort: 'Let's go Buffalo'

Brad Marchand said we're the worst city in the NHL. Tom Brady degraded our city's hotels. Joffrey Lupul routinely takes jabs at our landscape on Twitter.

So what do we do my fellow Buffalonians? These overpaid athletes can't get away with this. We could easily snap at Tom Brady by saying, "At least we didn't cry on national television describing a tough day in our career." We could respond to Joffrey Lupul by asking, "Who are you again? I missed it."

When these gentlemen make these casual single-sentence slams, they fail to remember that Buffalo is a hometown of hundreds of thousands. The city has given us more memories than just the weather. We remember growing up with our friends and families and how these moments have shaped a landscape we love.

Our parents made a harrowing drive to Sister's, Mercy or Children's to bring us into the world. We learned to drive on these streets. We've laughed away nights on Allen, Chippewa or Elmwood spending too much money. We get married and turn to the Waterfront, City Hall and Delaware Park to commemorate the day by taking pictures.

All of these places in Buffalo have earned love from city residents and we are very proud of our hometown. So in response to the comments of Mr. Brady, Mr. Marchand and Mr. Lupul I say, "Let's go Buffalo."

John Fenz

West Seneca

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Sabres need to cure their roster problems

It's time to make a move, and try to trade Paul Gaustad, Drew Stafford or Derek Roy. As of the moment, the Sabres have a better chance at the 15th position, instead of the eighth position in the conference.

They should spend some serious time reviewing who we should draft, as we could very well be drafting in the top five.

The Sabres are in deep trouble. I will be the first to admit, I do not know what the answers are to correct the situation. Unfortunately I also believe the Sabres organization does not know the answers to the problems, either.

Rich Pietrykowski

North Tonawanda

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Blue and gold resembles Ruff

Last Friday night against Montreal, I witnessed the frustrations of a head coach who has lost his team. On a team that can't score goals, Thomas Vanek has 22 but was benched for taking an unnecessary penalty. Nathan Gerbe, the hardest working player we have, was benched for taking a bad penalty as well.

These are not the two players who need to have a message sent their way. Ruff is clearly trying to let the team know who is in charge, but it is a sign of pure desperation.

Derek Roy took two tripping penalties against New Jersey but still had more ice time than Vanek and Gerbe. In the same game, Ruff dressed seven defensemen in the event Christian Ehrhoff was too ill to play the entire game.

Our coach is frustrated, desperate and coaching scared.

He said after the Montreal game that he was embarrassed. As is often the case in sports, the team resembles the coach. It is time for the Ruff era to end.

Patrick O'Hara

Lancaster

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Andriatch on mark in recent column

Great article by Bruce Andriatch in Feb. 14 Buffalo News about when there's no choice but to be all ears.

He is right. We are blessed to have play-by-play broadcasters who actually do the play-by-play. It aggravates me when Mike "Doc" Emerick and his behind the glass pal describe everything, but the play-by-play.

I wish you could send your column to every broadcaster that does hockey. If you want to get fan interest and create more of fan base, make the game sound exciting. If I want to listen to a hockey talk show, I'll tune in to one when the game's over.

Louie San George

Tonawanda

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Hockey Heaven should also include Niagara

Last year, it was revealed to WNY hockey fans that the Sabres had approached Canisius College about a potential deal that would, ultimately, include building a rink on their Main Street campus. With the Griffs contemplating a jump to Central Collegiate Hockey Association and the Sabres needing a rink closer to downtown, it appeared to be a no-brainer.

But if Mr. Pegula and the rest of the Sabres organization are really serious about making this area Hockey Heaven, then they need to look further than just Canisius College.

By doing their due diligence, the Sabres would find that many of the other college hockey programs are just as deserving of Mr. Pegula's generosity, too.

Look no further than the attendance of the Feb. 14 game between Niagara and Canisius. Of the 643 reported fans in attendance, three-quarters of them were Niagara fans. I saw less than 20 students from Canisius College, while Niagara students chartered a bus to root on their Purple Eagles.

Chances are that the Purple Eagle games are one of the best attended college hockey programs in the area.

They would also find that the Niagara University hockey program has also produced numerous players who have gone on to have careers in the pros, with Sean Bentivoglio and Matt Ryan appearing in regular-season NHL games.

Former Niagara goalie and assistant coach Greg Gardner didn't make it to the NHL but was the first Purple Eagle to sign an NHL contract.

Niagara has produced two Hobey Baker Award finalists for college hockey's top player, seven conference players of the year and an All-American.

Not too shabby for the tiny little college near the Canadian border in Niagara County.

Mr. Pegula should realize that Hockey Heaven encompasses ALL of the region and lend his support to the other programs, not just the one on Main Street in Buffalo.

Tim Toth

Tonawanda

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UB men's basketball needs a new leader

Why does UB men's basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon get a pass? Thirteen years of mediocrity and no MAC tournament titles and no NCAA tournament appearances.

Yes, he played for John Beilein but he is not Beilein nor does he coach like him. The UB team has one of the best big men in the conference in Mitchell Watt.

The guy has to beg for the ball in the low post position. Reggie hasn't figured out the offense needs to go through Watt.

It's time for a coaching change. The Illinois coach maybe available. Wouldn't it be nice to see the big mid-major schools like Butler, Gonzaga, etc. play here?

Steve Welk

Holland

Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Letters may also be sent via fax to 849-4587 or e-mail to sports@buffnews.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.