The selection of Mark Hamister and Todd Berman as the next owners of the Buffalo Sabres is like an antidote sitting in a vial, pending approval from the FDA. This potion has the potential to cure the ills that have ailed the franchise, but its benefit can't be fully measured until the needle actually plunges into the vein. Dan O'Brocta writes…
'For about a month Brown has quietly battled a very bad cold with the asthma he's had since he was a kid. Never one to make excuses, Brown tried to battle through it. But it showed in his production: no goals in the first 16 games.'
'Sunday wasn't an easy day for Ryan Miller. The Sabres sent the goalie prospect back to the Rochester Americans one week after he was asked to be a jump-start. Mika Noronen, who started two games for Rochester over the weekend, was brought back to Buffalo.'
'Brian Campbell and Alexei Zhitnik suffered foot injuries in Friday's 5-4 home victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Henrik Tallinder, Dmitri Kalinin and Rhett Warrener were hurt in Saturday night's 4-1 road loss to the Boston Bruins.'
'"Henrik's got a separated shoulder again, and Rhett got his bell rung," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We'll see where they are (today). . . . Henrik is going to miss some time."'
'But Miller was wobbly in each game, particularly late, and might have given the Sabres enough reason to send him back to Rochester and recall Mika Noronen.'
'Hamister and Berman also are no dummies. During the bidding process, they subtracted emotion and added common sense. Ultimately, they were left with one final question: Can they keep the franchise viable, competitive – and let's not forget, profitable – for the unforeseen future? Ultimately, the answer was affirmative.'
'The one thing we do know is that, at $65 million, the Sabres have lost about a third of their market value in just four years. Yet that depressed price may also be Hamister's opportunity, giving his backers the chance to make money through a rising franchise value if they can put the team on more solid financial footing.'
'It's Our Team: Stop Reminding Me.'
'They've been hit by injuries to key personnel and yet, like the watches in those now ancient Timex commercials, they take a licking and keep on ticking.'
'The Bruins got two goals from the Kid Line (Ivan Huml's third of the season and Lee Goren's first in two years), two more from the No. 1 line (Mike Knuble's third of 2002-03 and Glen Murray's 10th) and three power-play tallies in all in front of a crowd of 16,280, the largest turnout since opening night.'
'Huml's hastily put-together line with Providence call-ups Andy Hilbert and Lee Goren had a total of two goals and two assists. Goren had a goal and Huml was named third star.'
'The Bruins took advantage of four power-play opportunities in the first 20 minutes by scoring three goals.'
'Mark Hamister, the new owner of the Buffalo Sabres, has received numerous requests from fans to switch the team's colors back to blue and gold. He said he's considering getting rid of the red and black, which the team adopted in 1996 after moving into HSBC Arena.'
'The sale of the Sabres to Buffalo businessman Mark Hamister
could be one of the great steals of pro sports.'