The Buffalo Sabres officially introduced Ron Rolston as the new head coach of the Rochester Americans, a new employee at the Sabres University. There’s a lot to write about following the press conference and I’ll try and get to as much as possible today. One thing that continues to be apparent is that this philosophy is something that everyone is believing and buying into.
The word “development” is something that scares a lot of long time fans of American Hockey League teams because it speaks more to learning than anything else. The difference here is in one sentence that Darcy Regier said at this mornings press conference, “The Sabres University more than anything else represents winning championships.”
“That winning process begins with the selection of the players and progresses with the development of those players,” Regier said. “There is no more important area that we recognize more than the development of the players.”
Yes, that scary word development was used again. The difference here though is that this new philosophy is all about winning. That’s not something that was apparent the last three seasons with that other NHL parent team we had here in Rochester (and even in years prior with another ownership group).
Any employee in this organization (ticket rep to player to coach) has an employer that is going to provide everything that they need to be the best. One way that this is easily recognizable is the way Darcy Regier smiles when talking about all of the changes and improvements that have been made available to make everyone better. Something he didn’t have the opportunity to do in years prior.
Ron Rolston said that in professional hockey there are not too many organizations he would want to work for because of their philosophies. He didn’t accept this job to finally make the jump into professional hockey like some do, he accepted this job because he believes in everything going on and that he’s going to be given the resources to be the best. Darcy Regier has selected what he believes are the best players and now he’s selected who will be the best coach for those players.
Just talking does not win hockey games or championships. Signing the top free agents in the middle of the summer doesn’t result in the championship being awarded in July. There’s a lot of work to do in the months ahead but there’s no reason to not have excitement about the potential of the new direction that this organization has moved in.
I’m convinced, sign me up for the Sabres University.