Reflecting on the Sabres Summit

There is little doubt the Sabres Summit was a success. It served as a forum for Sabres bloggers to have their voice heard by the Sabres organization. Specifically, their voice was heard by team President Ted Black.

Of the topics I had pegged to bring up, a few were covered by my fellow bloggers, as I expected. However, I had two topics that I wanted to make sure I brought up. The first being the potential re-use for the empty Backstage Club/former Ira Ross Aerospace Museum. The second topic was about the potential return of the Frozen Four and re-implementing the Punch Imlach Hockey Showcase.

The space that was previously used by the Ira Ross Aerospace Museum is situated along the side of FNC, behind the Sabres Store and below the Harbor Club. While the arena renovations were being completed, this housed the Sabres gym equipment. Now it lies vacant, waiting for a new use.

Black noted that the space is 12,000 square feet, there is little space to utilize it as a restaurant due to the store and other neighboring rooms. However, he also pointed out that he has a secret plan for the space that he doesn’t yet wish to reveal. My hope is that his idea is for a Sabres Hall of Fame.

I was unfortunately unable to follow-up my original question with my thoughts on establishing a Hall of Fame in that space. Black also mentioned the terrible location for the entrance to that part of the building. Certainly an avenue for access through the arena could be established, particularly for an attraction like that. Black also mentioned that the idea of building vertically into the Harbor Club could be a possibility. It could also offer a secondary source of access.

Not to harp on the idea, as I have detailed most of my thoughts previously, but I think the potential is there to take advantage of the trajectory that Canalside is taking along with the potential connection of the harbor bridge in the near future.

One other idea I did mention with regards to Canalside was for the Sabres to be part of a project to build a Sabres-centric bar. Just like HockeyTown in Detroit, just with a bit more of Pegula’s or the organization’s influence. Continue reading

RJ and Hawerchuk called to the Hall

There are a host of reasons I grew up to be a hockey nut. Primarily my father is to thank for putting me on the ice early and letting me stay in the game throughout my formative years. The Sabres have a lot to do with that development as well, but there are numerous factors in the larger Sabres cloud which contributed to my upbringing in hockey.

Rick Jeanneret is easily in the top five reasons why I fell in love with hockey from an early age. I wasn’t really old enough to remember May Day, but I caught my fair share of La-La-La-La-LaFontaine’s and saw just about every robbery committed by Dominik Hasek. RJ called them all.

As I grew up RJ provided the play-by-play for plenty of memories, most of them create their fair share of goosebumps. I was lucky enough to spend a year working for the Sabres organization and RJ was as friendly as they come. Even last year I had the privilege to work stats for he and Harry Neale late last season. It may have been one of the easiest nights I had working stats, but it was still memorable. Continue reading

My Sabres practice arena pipedream

I am a big proponent for developing the city of Buffalo. I even touch on it in this space from time to time. Those of you who follow me on Twitter, or sit behind me at work, know that I have been dreaming up a grand vision for a practice/junior hockey venue near HSBC Arena.

After a little bit of Photoshop and Illustrator work I have a picture to go with my ramblings. Please excuse the polish of my work, I am quite the novice when it comes to both Photoshop and Illustrator. The pictures and overall vision can be found after the jump.

I gave this creation a name just so it looks a little less bare. I chose to call it the New Era Centre because the cap company is a large Buffalo-based corporation and the name flowed well off my tongue.

Basically this idea cropped up in my head because there are two enormous, barren surface lots in the “Cobblestone District” that don’t get very much use. It is a real shame because the remaining buildings in the District have a similar feel to the Distillery District in Toronto. I began thinking of things that could be put in their place to add some life and density to a neighborhood that is composed of about six buildings on one city block. This multi-purpose arena came to mind.

Continue reading

My idea for the HSBC 100 level

The Terry Pegula era has been greeted with unbridled enthusiasm. I don’t blame anyone for it either. He, and Ted Black, have said all the right things and have made all the right moves thus far. They have added numerous facets to the in-arena and home viewing experience.

Part of my plan to redecorate the 100 level (click for full size)

Many of the improvements have come from the Sabres Suggestion Box. One suggestion that has been addressed by one (or more) fans is to do something with the red wall that lines the 100 level at HSBC Arena. This is something that has crossed my mind before and cropped back up when the suggestion box debuted.

My idea is to add some art to the wall. I first thought of this when I caught a game at Air Canada Centre. The ACC has put a mural of old pictures around their wall. The pictures are made up of old pictures of fans from Maple Leaf Gardens. This adds a very cool aspect to the in-arena experience there. That is where the genesis of my idea was born. Continue reading