Now that this miserable Florida Panthers era finally ends on Sunday I’ll say it, a lot of people were right that the Panthers would be a disaster.
When the divorce between the Buffalo Sabres and Rochester Americans ended throughout the 2007-2008 season things were different, very different. That’s something that just about EVERYONE forgets or fails to mention is that both teams had different ownership that had different visions at the time.. and different ego’s too.
Could it have worked out better if Steve Donner had simply sold the Amerks to Tom Golisano? Probably. But that’s easy to say in hindsight. The 2007-2008 season was a dirty mess of one party saying one thing and the other secretly saying things.
Example.. Mike Catalano and Chuck Wade had their “What We Said” segment here and talked about the Buffalo Sabres on the way to the playoffs and also the Portland Pirates heading to the playoffs. Of course they also mentioned something like imagine the excitement if these guys playing now in Buffalo had played in Rochester this season.
There’s some things we’ll never know though. Sure, the Pirates have a great record and are going into the playoffs again BUT would they have performed as well in the Western Conference? Teams are different, maybe they would’ve tanked. If that would’ve happened, then what? We’d still have low attendance in Rochester. Stands are full when teams win, THE END.
It was a nasty divorce that divided the fans and it still lingers today.. at the time many looked at the Sabres vision towards scouting and winning in the minor leagues and AT THE TIME did not see a focus on it from them. The Florida Panthers said all the right things and appeared ready to work with the Amerks and grow as a franchise.
I’ll say this, does it really matter anymore? No. I say let’s just be happy that the Florida Panthers era is coming to a close. Well, it sure as hell better be. It’ll be a disaster for the Amerks if they’re forced to announce an extension of any sort with the Panthers.