Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula was on local radio Tuesday discussing his thoughts on the Sabres and the team's current status.
Pegula, who had previously been under fire for not making many public appearances to give answers for his personnel decisions, spoke with Kevin Sylvester on WGR 550-AM's "Hockey Hotline" and brought some of those opinions to light.
One of the major decisions Pegula spoke on was the hiring of Ron Rolston as head coach after not expanding the scope of their search beyond him.
"Ron didn't give us much choice last year," Pegula said. "I don't think when you trade away your captain you deal him your best hand. You trade … two experienced defenseman. Then by the way, he does pretty well. He's another guy that … you're not going to outwork Ron Rolston
. He's a hard worker."
He backed his decision up by noting one of Rolston's major strengths.
"In the next three years, we have 11 picks in the first two rounds. We're going to have this massive influx of young players and some of our key players, the [Mikhail] Grigorenkos, the [Zegmus] Girgensons, the [Johan] Larsson s… these are all young guys. Ron's a teacher."
From head coach to general manager, Pegula also backed his decision to keep Darcy Regier
on staff, assuring the fans that his previous blunders were a result of not having full control of his team.
"Maybe somebody was holding the painter's hand while he was doing the painting," Pegula said.
He also made mention that he and Regier do talk very frequently. Pegula joked that he speaks to Regier more than his own wife:
"I think for a GM in today's sports to operate efficiently, he's got to have access to his owner."
Lastly, from the player perspective, Pegula made mention of free agency and some players who have been predicted to leave this offseason.
"I can tell you that every free agent, we have been heavily involved with them," Pegula said. "They make the decision. I think last year's market was a pretty good example of that. Why didn't we get this guy? Guess what … he's got a brain in his head and he makes the decision based on where he wants to go."
Pegula also shared his thoughts on Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek:
"I can tell the fans I'm concerned, too. Yes we want them here. They have a say in that decision. What that decision is, no one has been re-signed yet. So, we're still working."
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The next move for the Sabres will be the NHL
draft June 30 from the Prudential Center in New Jersey, where the team has two top-20 picks.