Bowman Back in Buffalo??
Written by JIMMY MACK on 1/25/2012 12:43 AM
There are many options under consideration for the future direction of the Buffalo Sabres, and the discussions have been virtually non stop over the past few weeks between President Ted Black, and senior advisor and former Penguins CEO Ken Sawyer and to a lesser extent Chief Development officer Cliff Benson on how to improve the team..
The word out of hockey heaven is that they would have not issue with a change of direction at GM but are afraid of losing head coach Lindy Ruff in the process.
Even if Lindy decided to stay after a possible removal of Darcy Regier it would be difficult to bring in a seasoned GM who wouldn't want to bring in someone on his own.
One potential option is bringing in Scotty Bowman, at least on an interim basis to do the heavy lifting necessary over the next six to twelve months when it comes to fundamentally changing the foundation and makeup of the team.
Bowman has won the cup at four of his six stops along his Hall of Fame career. The exceptions being St. Louis and Buffalo. He did however have much success even in those cases.
Although he is currently employed by the Chicago Blackhawks as a senior advisor of hockey operations he still lives in East Amherst and has a high regard for Lindy Ruff. This might be a way for Pegula and co. to keep their beloved coach while making a change that would be geared towards building the framework for a team that can win a Stanley Cup.
Bowman's acumen and understanding for what components are needed to build a champion are unparalleled. At 78 he may not be interested in taking on such a responsibility but if he was given the opportunity to work during a transitional period to help transform the team and then hand the reins over to a more permanent option he might be interested. His son Stan is the unquestioned leader of the Black Hawks organization and there is no need or desire for him to prove himself on his own, but there is nothing left to for Scotty prove in Chicago and there would be no greater accomplishment in his career if he could turn around the struggling Sabres franchise.
Obviously there would be some challenges in that Bowman had his contract extended in June, but the Blackhawks at the same time promoted Marc Bergevin, Norm Maciver and Kyle Davidson who are now involved in all day to day activities related to the hockey department. The Blackhawks would certainly allow Bowman to move if he wanted it.
Whatever clout Pegula and his wife used to persuade Robyn Regehr hopefully they have some left to bring in someone who can help build a winner back in Buffalo.