'The former Sabres coach was invited to speak in Buffalo as part of Buffalo State College's monthlong Native American Heritage Celebration. Nolan, an Ojibway Indian, had no hesitations in returning to a familiar place, six years after he and the Sabres parted ways over a contract dispute.'
'The Sabres went into 2002-03 with an enviable group of young goalies, yet ended their season without a No. 1 – mostly because Noronen finally started showing why he was twice selected as the Hockey News' minor-league prospect of the year.'
'Also losing their jobs Monday, several sources confirmed, were Joe Guarnieri, senior director of broadcast and production services, and Jeff Holbrook, administrative assistant coach.'
'The two let go are Ron Bertovich, administrative vice president, and Christye Peterson, the team's vice president of marketing.'
'"Tom Golisano rejuvenated the locker room," McKee said. "The difference from now and one year ago is enormous."'
'The puck is on Golisano's stick. He's never dealt in hockey before, but we're sure looking forward to watching him try.'
'There is a lot Buffalo can do to help improve its own prospects and, indeed, it has been taking some of those steps lately, with new, forward-looking contracts with its Police and Fire Departments. But one person with enough resources and a well-developed sense of civic responsibility can make a huge difference. In Rochester, Golisano has proved to be just such a person.'
'Larry Quinn, a close adviser to Golisano on the Sabres, said the new owner would wait until formally closing on the purchase before making any changes. "We've had a fair amount of input into operations so far," Quinn said.'
'"It's like a house closing, no big deal," Quinn told the media. "Initially what we'll have to do is get out to our fans about ticket pricing next year, some basic hockey decisions, prepare for the draft, some potential player transactions."'
'Golisano's offer takes into account $45 million in assumed liabilities, up to $25 million in projected team debt this season and a $22 million concession loan. He is also offering to pay $2.5 million owed to unsecured creditors, despite not being legally bound to do so.'
'Heading into next season, the Sabres have an intriguing mix of young talent and veteran savvy. They won’t be one of the NHL’s elite teams, but they could be a playoff contender.'
'Disappointments had to include the play of goaltenders Martin Biron and Mika Noronen. Neither goalie seemed to want to grab the starting job as his own, with both struggling at certain points of the season.'
'U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan on Thursday morning approved an asset purchase agreement that will allow Golisano, founder and chairman of Paychex Co. in Rochester, to acquire the National Hockey League franchise. Golisano is paying $70 million for the team and retiring another $20 million in existing debts to buy the team. Closing, pending some final paper work, is expected within the next 10 days, said Golisano's attorney, Michael Beyma, a partner in the Rochester law firm of Underberg & Kessler LLP.'
'"You always have a bit of a sense of things," Regier said. "I don't know if it would be right or wrong, but I always have a sense. I always prefer to take the optimistic view, and that's where I'd like to be."'
'"I'd like to hear that all the plans are serious and next year we aren't just going to wait and try to develop," Satan said. "I want to hear that we're going to make the playoffs and go after it. I guess there's a lot of rumors about turning this organization around. If everybody's going to be serious about it, I definitely want to be part of it."'