'Among the series of indignities that the Buffalo Sabres have endured this season — including dropping attendance, the arrest of their former owner and an injury to their top scorer — their biggest misfortune may be that they are bottoming out a year too early. By all accounts, the absolute best time to be at your worst will be next season when a Russian, Alexandre Ovechkin, is eligible for the NHL draft.'
Archives for November 21, 2002
'''I have rooted for this team since the Knox family got the franchise, since Punch Imlach coached the team and since Gilbert Perreault won the Calder Trophy,'' Hamister said, recalling some of the franchise's most memorable names. ''But I believe the Sabres' best days are yet to come. It is my hope to help them realize that better future.'''
'The reported price tag of $65 million includes the Sabres, Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League, the relating companies associated with the two teams and the rights to HSBC Arena the Sabres "have enjoyed since day one."'
'"We love Buffalo. We love the Sabres," said Hamister, who operates the Hamister Group of Companies and North American Sports Inc., which oversees three minor league football teams including the Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena Football League.'
'And, according to comments made by Hamister today when he was introduced at a press conference as the Sabres new owner, he will not have any involvement with the day-to-day operations of the team until the Board of Governors approve him next year. Until Hamister is approved, the NHL will continue to operate the team the way they have over the past six months with Regier at the helm.'
Promising to proceed in "a humble and quiet fashion," Mark Hamister and Todd Berman said at Thursday's press conference in HSBC Arena that they won't be making any major changes to the Buffalo Sabres' on- or off-ice product until the sale of the team closes in the first quarter of 2003. The press conference was held on the ice with an appropriate backdrop of thousands of empty seats.
'Ch2 Sports has learned that Hamister's bid includes about $60 million for the team, but the figure will be closer to $90 million when including some assumed debt. Hamister's bid, according to a source, will pay off Adelphia's $33 million secured debt on the HSBC Arena.'
'Golisano said his decision to stick with his undisclosed original offer was based on the Sabres' current fiscal condition, which he termed "a risky situation." In addition to assuming the team's existing debt, new ownership will also face millions of dollars more in deferred compensation for the players, and a murky future on the issue of a players salary cap.'
'"It's something that's been looming over our heads," Sabres defenseman and alternate captain Rhett Warrener said. "It's not something we think about every day, but it's something that's always in the back of your mind. Hopefully it's positive, and if it has been bothering guys, they can stop worrying about it. We can concentrate on hockey now. It's nice to have an owner behind you that's going to put the team's best interests first and foremost."'
'The last thing they need is to feed the public's undying fascination with Ted Nolan. The guy hasn't coached since May of '97. He alienated his star player. He alienated his general manager. Don't insult Ruff by suggesting Nolan would be a worthy replacement, a step up in class. If hockey were chess, Ruff beats Nolan in 15 moves.'