Archives for May 2002

Rigas' woes have Sabres wondering

'The Rigases have not yet shown any signs of relinquishing ownership of the Sabres. They also have yet to quell any fears fans may have over the team being sold.'

Does Adelphia crisis put Sabres on thin ice?

'"Could the Sabres survive as a stand-alone franchise without the weight of a large corporation, particularly a large communications company, behind it?" asked Jim Kelley, senior hockey writer for "No. The Knoxes couldn't do it, and I don't think there is a big enough corporate base here."'

Sabres get some financial good news

In a move that will improve the Sabres financial picture, lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate approved a pair of budget measures that will forgive $25 million in loans linked to the construction of the HSBC Arena.

A tall pile of pucks

'When business was good, the Rigas family could afford to lose an estimated $15-20 million annually on the Sabres, in hopes a few perks from the state and local governments could help them eventually get back to even or better. But in a matter of weeks, the Rigas family has lost more than 80 percent of its wealth. No, the Sabres aren’t connected to Adelphia Communications in name, but they are most certainly connected.'

New chief is no stranger to challenge

'Kailbourne helped save the Bills, spearheading the drive to help the Bills sell $11 million worth of suites and premium seats, ensuring they'd stay in Buffalo for at least five years. Now Erkie Kailbourne, the 60-year-old retired banker who grew up in Wellsville, faces another gigantic challenge – helping save Adelphia Communications, which controls the fate of Buffalo's other major-league franchise, the Sabres.'

Rigas Silence Speaks Volumes

'Actually no one knows for sure how bad their financial situation is, because they have yet to open their books. But when you have the amount of education that the Rigas sons have, their inability to put together a "story" for Wall-Street is not a good sign.'

Regier has some learning to do himself

'Buffalo is what it is…a small-market. As long as the NHL doesn't have a salary cap or some kind of true revenue sharing, teams like the Sabres are always going to struggle. But that shouldn't be an excuse for underachieving.'

No defense for Sabres' offensive woes

'The Sabres have done a sorry job of finding offense in the draft.'

Patrick has always answered the call

'Patrick turns 39 in June and is without a contract as of July 1 but it doesn't appear he's ready to say goodbye just yet. "(Sabres GM) Darcy (Regier) said there's nothing official right now but there's a good chance I'll be back," Patrick said. "We'll talk when I get back."'

Patrick a world-beater

'For the fifth time in his career, the Winnipeg-born defenceman, a member of the Buffalo Sabres, was invited to the world championship.'