Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) -- The Sabres didn’t play well against the Kings on Tuesday, but still came away with two points. It wasn’t enough to change Terry Pegula’s mind and he fired Darcy Regier and Ron Rolston.
Ryan Miller has been here the longest and he knows a change was needed, “Hopefully this is a situation for the Sabres as an organization to reset a little bit. Darcy’s been here a long time and maybe it’s time for a little different perspective and some other kind of influence coming in.” Miller added, “It’s the trend in pro sports and really it’s up to the players to go out and perform. No matter how many young guys we have, we have to find ways to win. A lot of this is on the players."
Despite that, it didn’t stop Miller from thinking about his former GM and former coach, “It was pretty surprising to wake up to. You do feel bad for Darcy and Ron, you don’t like to see people lose their job. Darcy believed in me throughout my career and I wish him the best.”
We all know Miller is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He says this doesn’t change anything for him, “My thought process is to play the best I can and number one, put myself in position to make the Olympic team which is a goal of mine and help the team as best I can get into a playoff position. We’ve got plenty of hockey left and going forward it's up to the shift in the regime here.”
Steve Ott is the captain of this team and is another guy that could still be gone. He said, “I think Darcy’s done a prenominal job for the community and for this hockey club. He put a lot into it and Ron also. Ron came into a tough position right off the get go, but the respect I have for Pat LaFontaine and Teddy Nolan, their pasts, it can only lead to great things here for the Buffalo Sabres organization and this community.”
Ott didn’t know a lot about Nolan until he started hearing from friends. He said, “I looked at my phone after practice real quick and I had players all over the league texting me right away telling me what a great guy he is and how you want to work for him and if that gives any motivation to the guys in this room, it’s you want to go through the wall for your coach and he’s one of those guys.”
It really doesn’t matter if you liked the men that are gone or not, Ott knew something needed to be done, “Obviously it’s not acceptable organizationally to have this. It’s a tough situation, no one ever wants to see anyone lose their job and for us in here accountability wise, we’re not getting the job done on this ice and that’s what leads to changes and it’s only up from here.”
I was right up front with Christian Ehrhoff asking him about guys that have been just going through the motions for much of this season. He said, “That was his message (Nolan) in the first meeting. He wants people to compete and nothing’s going to be given to you and you have to earn everything and that should help us.”
The defenseman does feel invigorate, “Yes, I figure it’s a new start with the coach and like you said, it hasn’t been going to way it should go and it’s the time for everybody to step it up, work hard and earn your time one the ice.”