Darcy Regier is management's mouthpiece on personnel matters, so the Sabres' veteran general manager was compelled to spout the company line and deny the obvious after the puzzling decision to waive Tim Kennedy. But I was surprised that his nose didn't grow when he uttered these words at Tuesday's press conference:
"There is no room for being vindictive," Regier said.
On the contrary, buying out Kennedy was a vintage vindictive act by management. How else could you explain the Sabres cutting ties with a young prospect who had just won a $1 million contract in arbitration? You needn' be a cynic to suspect that management resented Kennedy going to arbitration and wanted to show the world they weren't going to let him get away with it.
This was about $200,000 in salary, a fairly insignificant sum. What if the arbitrator had awarded Kennedy, say, $875,000? Are we supposed to believe the Sabres would have still cut him? I have to think they would have kept him at a lesser number. The Sabres pride themselves on player development and showing patience with their prospects. This seems like an awfully flimsy way to determine the roster. It's hard to imagine this move playing well in the dressing room.
Regier isn't a vindictive sort by nature. But he works for two of the more vindictive men in the game: Sabres owner Tom Golisano and his managing partner, Larry Quinn. People who have negotiated with Golisano and Quinn behind the scenes can tell you how spiteful those two can be when people have the audacity to challenge them. There's a vindictive quality to many of Golisano's political machinations.
People say the Kennedy move makes no sense. It makes perfect sense when you consider the vindictive nature of the people at the top of the operation. There's one word for it:
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