Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thoughts on the Sabres' potential sale

Remember me?  I used to write a blog about the Sabres.  Sadly, I've lost my blogging mojo pretty badly over the last month, and combined with a newborn and life in general being fairly hectic, that has caused this place to go dark for the last month.

But fear not, for I have a few thoughts about this Terry Pegula business!

Some of the reaction has puzzled me a bit, as the general vibe has been that the team needs to be freed from the evil clutches of Tom Golisano to ever stand a chance of winning a championship.  I get that Golisano never looked at the Sabres as anything more than an investment, and I get that fans are frustrated with penny-pinching.  But Tom Golisano is hardly the worst owner in sports history; Bill Wirtz laughs from the grave at that misguided notion.  Without Golisano, the Buffalo Sabres would not exist. For that, I will always be eternally grateful to Tom Golisano - regardless of our current dissatisfaction with the product on the ice.

That's not to say a change in ownership might not be an improvement. It's easy to see why most folks are rather optimistic about Mr. Pegula's potential ownership, and although I'll stop short of being as giddy as Schopp and the Bulldog were on WGR yesterday afternoon, you can certainly count me as part of that group.  His ties to the area, his status as a "hockey guy", his endlessly deep pockets, and his Sabres fandom are all very positive things. Let's look at it this way: Darcy Regier has constructed competitive teams year after year while Tom Golisano and Larry Quinn have stood over his shoulder counting pennies.  How much more could he achieve if he was allowed more financial freedom?  How can you not be excited about the mere prospect of that?  (Assuming, of course, that Pegula doesn't clean house and GMDR remains with the team.)

I always wondered anxiously who might be able to step in and keep the Sabres in Buffalo once Golisano decided he didn't want to own a hockey team anymore.  Regardless of what the future holds with Terry Pegula, I'm simply relieved that there might be an answer to that question.

Allow me to close this post with something that amuses me: the two biggest Sabres stories of the last month - the sale of the team, and Punch-Gate - have been nothing but rumors to date, and yet these rumors didn't originate from blogs or Twitter, but from members of the mainstream media. Just sayin'.

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