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Letters for April 28

Anger from players misplaced after bad game

I find it mind boggling that Ryan Miller and other Sabres are publicly stating their anger towards the fans for booing their on-ice performance.

These guys are paid well to play a mere game in order to entertain us. We fans pay dearly to be entertained. Is it any wonder that when we are not entertained, we show our displeasure by booing? It’s not like we are throwing rocks or other objects at them.

Miller and the others should take a reality check and thank the fans for continuing to pay for an inferior product. Maybe they would be happier taking jobs as first responders who deal with life and death situations at a fraction of what professional athletes are paid.

Jack Sullivan


Pardy should do talking on the ice

After the Sabres abysmal performance against the Rangers, journeyman defenseman Adam Pardy felt like the fans were disrespectful to Ryan Miller “after what he’s done for this organization.”

Suddenly, after a short time with the team, Pardy feels like he has earned the right to criticize Buffalo fans. Pardy, who has had a non-descript career and plays much smaller than his size, is a perfect example of what Buffalo doesn’t need - a player who wants to protect a teammate after a bad outing rather than demand accountability.

Until you bring a Stanley Cup to Buffalo, or in your case, a Calder Cup to Rochester, do your talking on the ice.

Patrick O’Hara


What Regier put together wasn’t good enough

In trying to pinpoint where the 2013 Sabres went wrong, it’s clear that their woes started at the top. From keeping Ruff to signing a relic like Scott to protect us from Boston’s bullies, Darcy Regier did nothing last offseason to improve a team that missed the playoffs. Yes, he got Ott, but he never filled the hole that trade left at center.

Maybe Regier thought the entire season would be cancelled, but the fact is that when the lockout ended, this team lacked the talent and leadership needed to win.

We knew, roughly, what we’d get from the top line, and Ennis, Foligno, and Stafford simply underperformed. But what did Regier really expect from a line with Ott, an 18 year-old rookie, and a flop like Leino? Or from a fourth line with Kaleta, no center, and a guy recovering from a broken neck? Things were so bad that Jochen Hecht was brought in to steady the ship. Was Bob Corkum too busy?

The same was true on defense. They just weren’t good enough. Regehr and Leopold were too old, while Pardy and Sulzer lacked talent. Sekera is okay and Ehrhoff is a star, but Myers looks more like Mike Wilson than a Calder Trophy winner. There was also the Brennan fiasco, and while Weber has been a nice surprise, he was the No. 7 defenseman, and we just got lucky.

Point blank: two and a half years in, with unlimited funds and completely free reign, this is the best that Regier can cobble together. He either thought this roster was good enough to win, or was unable or unwilling to make the moves needed to improve it. Either way, his poor judgment and ineffectiveness cost the team its season. Based on this, I don’t hold much hope for a better 2013-2014.

Marc L. Rummenie

East Aurora

Regier’s drafting record needs some work

Barrett Heisten, Artem Kryukov, Jiri Novotny, Keith Ballard, Marek Zagrapan and Dennis Persson. Who are these guys? They are all first-round draft picks by Darcy Regier.

Who is at fault here? Is it the general manager, the scouts or both? In 16 years, Regier has drafted two impact players, Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek. Looking at the track record, the Sabres are in trouble.

James Furcoat


After thinking it over, fan admits booing wrong

I was wrong. Though at the time, it felt right.

During the last two minutes of the first period of the Buffalo Sabres battle with the New York Rangers on April 19, it felt right to be upset. Upset that goalie Ryan Miller let in three goals so quickly. Upset that the team could look so together and play so well just two nights earlier in Boston against the Bruins in a equally crucial bid for a playoff spot. Upset that I paid a lot money to show up at the game; that the Sabres got paid a lot of money to show up at the game and all I expected was for them to play hockey. As long as we all showed up. Upset that I was rudely awakened from a playoff dream. But reading the paper the next morning, I knew I was wrong.

I booed Miller. I sarcastically cheered the Rangers’ third goal. And I felt justified in doing so because I felt cheated.

The players don’t hit the ice with the thought of simply coasting through the next 60 minutes. They play hockey, They bring their talent, their effort and their desire to win every game. But in every game played, there will be a winner and a loser. There will be finger pointing and accountability. But there should never be such a public display of contempt and ridicule. I’m ashamed to say I was part of it. I was wrong. It was classless and I’m deeply sorry.

As I, as a fan, had to absorb and digest first an initial lockout, then the departure of a beloved and dedicated coach, then having to say goodbye to a popular and talented captain I need to remember that each player on the team went through the same emotions.

So, thank you, Sabres, for hanging in there with us and for us. This is Buffalo and we’re nothing if not resilient. We’ll set our sights on next season and begin with a clean slate. Forgive us our bad manners and be assured we’ll be looking forward to seeing you in the fall.

Laurie Pohlman


Fair-weather fans should tone down booing

Those fair-weather fans who boo at hockey games should be asked to leave the arena. And they should be asked to take with them those who pound on the glass.

We love you, Ryan Miller. Go Sabres.

Thora Van Horn


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 email to Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.