I’ll admit it. This season, I have had no interest whatsoever with writing anything on my blog and it’s been bothersome to me. No matter how much I wanted to shell out some new material; nothing ever came to my mind. I began to question whether or not I just wanted to shut down the blog for good considering how school and work have kept me pre-occupied. Until now.
The impending sale of the Sabres is what has kept me on the edge of my seat as of late. Terry Pegula is a business man but he is also a hockey fan, which just makes this whole ‘buying the team’ greater than it already is. It’s what us Sabres fans have been wanting for a long time since it seems like Thomas Golisano has found other interests besides the Sabres. Not according to him though.
I spent about two and a half hours watching that one hour press conference because I was dilly dallying. I sat down with a piece of Post-It and took notes as if I were one of the media reporters sitting in front of that conference.
The first thing I noticed about Golisano in particular was how he approached this very businesslike and professionally. He brought about a lot of great points with his opening statement of the selling of the team and the purchase by Terry Pegula. It was mentioned that talks of purchasing the team were brought up before but they declined any offers, and then suddenly accepted them again because of personal reasons amongst the three managing owners (Golisano, Quinn, and DiPofi). Golisano said that he enjoyed most of his time being the owner of the Sabres, but there was one percent that he didn’t like. In my belief, I think that was not being able to win the Stanley Cup for all these years he’s been the owner. Someone brought up the Briere/Drury debacle as what might’ve been that one percent but I don’t think that’s it. In fact, Larry Quinn pretty much busted a blood vessel explaining to people that the whole thing was a two-way street and they could’ve signed the contracts they were offered. Instead, they decided to go a different route. I saw this as refreshing because I’m sick of the Briere/Drury thing being brought up over and over again. It happened nearly four years ago everyone needs to get over it.
I never knew that other NHL teams might have asked their communities for money to help out, so Golisano noting never asking for ‘public money’ kind of shocked me. I guess that in some cases (especially if your team is about to go bankrupt) you have to do whatever you can in order to keep the team in the area it was originated in. While he had done his part to keep the Sabres in town, he had then moved to Florida to take care of other matters. He claims he watched almost all of the games while he was in the Sunshine state and when he was up here, he attended all of them. Ironic considering ho most reports and other things showed him as being disinterested in the team; which is why many people thought he would sell it in the first place.
Another way to defend himself was saying how high the attendance had gotten for the Sabres. Currently, they are sixth in attendance from the Eastern Conference which is pretty damn good considering the other franchises in this conference. He also mentioned how they tried to get close to the salary cap during free agency; something fans consistently complained about in the summertime as the free agency market opened and numerous amounts of good players were gone under the Sabres radar. Many fans (and the media as well) could argue this with Golisano. Perhaps under the new era of Pegula, this could change? We shall see.
Part two of my analysis will be written tomorrow.