While attending the NFL Owners meetings in Arizona, Bills and Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula were asked about how the hockey season has gone and whether there will be any additions or changes to the organization.
Here are some of the main topics discussed.
On whether there will be a coaching change:
Terry Pegula: “The season obviously hasn’t finished yet. But, I think (GM Jason Botterill) has said it pretty well that he supports Phil. Phil communicates with the players well. Are we happy with the way the season has gone? Absolutely not. So, something has to change. We don’t know what, but we’re going to put our heads to together and talk about it.
On justifying bringing Phil Housley back for a third year and why:
Terry Pegula: “He’s a young coach. He was a great player and I think he can grow as a coach.“
Kim Pegula: “Jason I think, already said that he’s not planning on letting Phil go — that he’s going to be returning. But, that’s not to say we can’t always improve. I don’t think, anytime these things happen, it’s usually not just one thing or just on one person. We’ll figure all that out. Know that, Terry and I, our staff, everybody in the organization, we want to get better. No doubt about it.”
On regretting not adding another player when the Sabres climbed to No. 1 in the NHL standings during the 10-game winning streak:
Terry Pegula: “We knew at the time when we were No. 1 in the Eastern Conference, we said, ‘we’re not this good. We’ll come back to Earth some‘. Now, did we think we’d come back like this? No. At the time when we were 17-6-2, we didn’t think we were the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference. I think our guys showed one thing, and now they just need to now continue and do that over a long period of time.“
Kim Pegula: “Obviously, Terry and I, we’re not happy with where we are at this point in the season. All of us knew that was early on in the season. I’ve learned in sports to have more patience than sometimes I want to have. I’m just going to be patient. I don’t want to knee jerk anything. I want to sit down and get the information — it’s been a long season. But certainly, we’re not happy. And I don’t think Phil, the players or Jason is happy either. We got to make sure the decisions we make are based on sound decisions and that can’t happen until we get all the information and that happens, as you know, at the end of the season.”
Asked if they will add an additional member to the front office:
Terry Pegula: “I don’t think so. I communicate with Botts regularly — daily — sometimes three times a day and he’s the only three-time Gold Medal, World Junior guy in the world. He’s a smart guy, and he does a good job.“
Kim Pegula: “I don’t know that yet. We’re still in the season. I know we’re close to the end but usually that stuff we kind of look until after the season when we have our usual, annual post season reviews. So, all that stuff will be discussed and talked about with Jason and Phil and players like in the normal course of business.”