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Sabres lack Winning Pedigree

Winners Win and Losers lose. It's a simple concept, and one that may not have any tangible measure but seems to play out on an annual basis. Teams that have experience winning, both collectively and individually find ways to win together.

Terry Pegula is on record as saying the sole existence of this team is to win Stanley Cups. I did a little research on the last two cup winning franchises to see how the Buffalo Sabres stacked up in terms of "winners". The IIHF recognizes the Stanley Cup, World Championship Gold, and the Olympic Gold as the three most accomplished titles in the sport of ice hockey. I also included the World Junior Championship in my rankings.

Additionally I feel league championships are every bit as important as international tournaments, so I took NCAA championships, CHL championships, Euro League Championships, and AHL championships into account as well. Also the championships listed are ones players have won PRIOR to that years stanley cup. Have a look:


Total Championships: 13
Total Champions: 8
Stanley Cups: 2 (Mark Recchi 2x)
World Championships: (Patrice Bergeron)
World Junior Championships: 3 (Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand 2x)
Olympic Gold Championships: 1 (Patrice Bergeron)
Memorial Cup Championships: 4 (Gregory Campbell, Andrew Ference, Milan Lucic, Michael Ryder)
Calder Cup Championships: 1 (Dennis Seidenberg)
Euro League Championships: 1 (Dennis Seidenberg w/Adler Mannheim DEL)

Over one third of the Bruins roster had championships to their name heading into last year's finals. Most notably were Mark Recchi who had 2 prior Stanley Cups, Patrice Bergeron who had won a gold medal in 3 different international tournaments, and Dennis Seidenberg who had won 2 prior league championships.


Total Championships: 23
Total Champions: 14
Stanley Cups: 4 (Tomas Kopecky, Andrew Ladd, John Madden 2x)
World Championships: 1 (Johnathan Toews)
World Junior Championships: 6 (Dave Bolland, Andrew Ladd, Brent Seabrook, Colin Fraser, Johnathan Toews 2x)
Olympic Gold Championships: 3 (Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Johnathan Toews)
Memorial Cup Championships: 5 (Dave Bolland, Brian Campbell, Colin Fraser, Marian Hossa, Nick Boynton)
Calder Cup Championships: 2 (Ben Eager, Patrick Sharp)
Euro League Championships: 1 (Cristobal Huet w/HC Lugano NLA)
NCAA Championships: 1 (John Madden)

The 2010 Chicago Blackhawks boasted an incredible 14 players with championships under their belt. John Madden led the way with an NCAA championship and two prior Stanley Cups, while their captain Johnathan Toews sported an impressive 4 gold medals.

Now let's take a look at this year's Buffalo Sabres and see how they fare against the last two NHL champions:

Total Championships: 11
Total Champions: 9
World Junior Championships: 2 (Tyler Myers, Tyler Ennis)
Memorial Cup Championships: 1 (Derek Roy)
Calder Cup Championships: 1 (Colin Stuart)
Euro League Championships: 4 (Ville Leino SM Liiga, Jochen Hecht 2x DEL, Christian Ehrhoff DEL)
NCAA Championships: 3 (Nathan Gerbe, Thomas Vanek 2x)

While the number of players the Sabres have on their roster with championship is on par with Boston, Buffalo lacks Stanley Cup experience. The Sabres don't have a single player in their organization who has won on the biggest stage in the NHL or in international competition.

If Darcy Regier feels this core group of players cannot get the job done together, and there is certainly enough evidence to support that theory, then improving talent is only one part of the equation. Buffalo needs to acquire players who have won, players who can guide this young team onto the winning path. The formula is simple, winners win and losers lose. Right now the Sabres could use a few more winners.

Brandon Hess
Follow me on twitter @SabreHess

1 comment:

  1. It is definitely important for a successful team to have players who have played and know what it takes to becoming successful. When the season started, with all the addition to the sabres, the expectation for the team was that they will have a good regular season campaign and make some noise in the playoffs. It takes time for a team with many new faces to gel though. Regeir should make a few moves to get some veteran winners. Someone like a Pahlsson (CBJ, won the cup with the ducks). He adds experience and the pedigree of having gone all the way along with good defensive play. An issue will be fitting such players under the cap though.