Yesterday The Hockey News and The Buffalo News each broke stories that the Sabres were being shopped, albeit quietly, by current owner Tom Golisano. Each report pegged Pennsylania billionaire, Terrence Pegula, as the prospective buyer.
As the day grew older the reports intensified. In fact, rumors circulated that Pegula was heading to New York to meet with Gary Bettman in regards to the sale – that report later added that Pegula would be introduced at the Board of Governors meeting next weekend.
But, the Sabres issued their own statement and today, the Associated Press has clarified some rumors making it seem as if the sale was not as imminent as some had come to believe just 24 hours earlier.
The situation, as it stands now, is that Golisano is still the owner of the Sabres. He is reportedly mulling the current offer/asking price of the franchise which is actually ballparked around $175 million. It is said Pegula would be ok with that offer (he can afford it after all) and that a sale could still be completed by the end of 2010.
Nobody knows what the current situation is except Pegula, Golisano, Dan DiPofi and Larry Quinn. Gary Bettman and Bill Daly probably have a good idea of what is going on too. Ken Cambell, Bucky Gleason and John Wawrow should be commended for their reporting on this subject. Currently it seems as if there is something in the works, and I don’t just mean that Pegula is kicking the tires either. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
I want, with all of my heart to believe that this is true and that by the end of this season the Sabres will have a new owner. That isn’t to take away anything that Tom Golisano has done for this franchise or the city. But it is time the Sabres had an owner with a deep passion for the game.
Pegula donated $88 million to Penn State to move their hockey program from the ACHA to the NCAA. Something tells me he would push for bigger free agent acquisitions. Now, he could be just as stingy as Golisano has been when it comes to contract spending, I would assume the Sabres would ditch the “internal budget” for a “spend to win” mentality, but who knows? As 2ITB reader, Chris Wasik pointed out, it is a super exciting prospect, but it is still hard to commit to it one way or the other.
The real question is, is this sale for real? Campbell and Gleason certainly think so. The AP report also paints a picture of Golisano acknowledging that an offer has been submitted. Yet, there are so many questions that are out in the open, the one I have just posed being the biggest of the bunch. The Buffalo media jumped right on this bandwagon, for good reason. But it would be a crying shame if this fell through and we were left with our hearts broken yet again.
Fear not, I am sure brighter days await Sabres fans as it seems that Pegula is truly interested and truly wants a Cup in Western New York.