Updated: Mar 13, 2021
I can understand why the Pegula’s would be gun shy about having a President of hockey ops, and I agree with them - you hire your GM for his hockey vision and direction of the team. You put a Pres of hockey ops in there, you don't get that.
Some rumors and reporting indicated that part of the falling out with Pat Lafontaine was the fact that Murray wanted to tank and rebuild, and Lafontaine wanted to resign Ryan Miller and not trade him away. Pegula’s sided with Murray.
If Brandon Beane can manage the football department with his staff and McDermott, there's no reason an NHL GM shouldn't be able to do the same with his head coach.
Furthermore, this talk of the Pegula family meddling in hockey decisions, somebody please show me evidence of this. The Tyler Dunn article gave us a glimpse of how they handle the Bills, and that was completely hands off on personnel. It's less of a leap to assume that they run the hockey team like they run the football team than it is to assume that they are making player personnel decisions for the Sabres. You want to make that accusation; you need some kind of evidence.
When Lindy Ruff was let go, he said in his farewell press conference: "To the recent ownership, to who I'm indebted to, and I think we have the best ownership in the league, just a great big thanks to Terry and Kim, and what they've done for our team, for our city, I think the people understand, I think the fans understand, I think [the media] understands what great ownership we have here. My biggest disappointment is not getting it done for them. It's the biggest disappointment I have. We'll get it right here. You've gotta trust him, because uh, he's a competitor, he's a fabulous guy to be around, and it'll get done right."
That obviously has not come to fruition, and lack of success comes with scrutiny. But based on what I know about what they've done on the football side, and what people who I respect have to say about them, I believe they can get it done.