Using HARBORcenter’s profile to attract college hockey’s best

Last week, the Sabres and Canisius confirmed what many hockey fans in Buffalo had long assumed; the Golden Griffins will call HARBORcenter home starting in the 2014-15 season.

With the Griffs set to become the primary tenant at Terry Pegula’s newest contribution to downtown Buffalo, the ripple effects on hockey at the local and national level should be seen sooner rather than later.

The 1,800 seat facility will most definitely help the Sabres draw attention for such events like the All-Star Game, World Junior Championships and perhaps even the Frozen Four. The lodging, ice availability and attraction of the $172 million facility should bolster the resume for the Sabres and First Niagara Center. Not to mention the positive returns the Golden Griffins will enjoy in terms of exposure and on the recruiting trail.

However, there is one road that I’m still waiting for the Griffs, Sabres and most importantly, Terry Pegula to explore. The creation of a yearly tournament, jointly hosted by the Sabres and Canisius as a way to showcase the program, First Niagara Center as well as HARBORcenter. In some ways it would be a recreation of the Punch Imlach Invitational that was ran in the early 2000s, but I’d like to see things improved in the future. Continue reading

UB joins CCHA conversation with Canisius, Niagara

Suddenly the college hockey scene in Buffalo is exploding.

Nick Veronica first broke the story about a joint venture between the Sabres and Canisius to build a rink for the Golden Griffins and Sabres to share. That story has continued to gain momentum recently as Veronica has kept abreast to the situation.

In addition, news also broke that Canisius and Niagara could be part of a coalition to part ways with Atlantic Hockey to join the recently fractured CCHA. Mercyhurst and Robert Morris were the other two schools in on the original conversation. Continue reading