'And while the future isn't bleak, it's not brimming with optimism, either.'
Archives for April 15, 2002
'Some changes are bound to happen, with 14 free agents. Five are unrestricted, including Rob Ray and Richard Smehlik.'
'"We have a very strong nucleus. I know this organization isn't happy about how things went this year. I know the guys in the room – everybody knows, the coaches and Darcy – they want to win. They want to be successful and have a good hockey team. That's first and foremost. I think there were times when the desperation wasn't there."'
'He'll turn 39 in June but plays like he has several years remaining on his 19-year career. He enjoys playing in Buffalo, understands his role and wants to return for another season. He's not willing to move his family again for the opportunity to play elsewhere.'
'Roughly 10 percent of that critical season ticket base was lost before the 2001-02 season started. Coupled with a condensed schedule due to the NHL's Olympic participation (remember there were nine home games in October, approximately 25 percent of all home dates) and a horrible start on the ice, selling tickets became even more of a challenge. Attendance dipped, revenue will be impacted and there are no playoff games to make it up.'
'Geoffrey Reeds, director of sales for the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, said his hotel is definitely feeling the crunch because the Sabres didn't make the playoffs. Reeds said the final lost sales number could approach $100,000, especially if the team had gone deep into the playoffs.'
'"I think it's entirely possible he may have to sell the Buffalo Sabres. Why do I say that? He apparently has pledged the hockey team as collateral against his loans that he used to borrow money to buy his own stock."'