Finally putting to end one of the worst kept secrets in the NHL in recent months, the Buffalo Sabres released a statement earlier today announcing that Terry Pegula will be officially introduced as the new owner of the team on Tuesday, February 22 at 11AM at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY. The team has also announced that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be on hand at the press conference, which will surely be packed with local and national media.
While the rumor mill was filled with news of a potential sale late last year, it wasn’t until roughly two weeks ago that “official” news broke on the sale by Tom Golisano and other minority owners to Pegula for roughly $190 million.
In early January, THN covered several of the unofficial announcements and how the change in ownership might alter the team’s outlook in the second half of the season. Despite a strong start after the All Star break, the team has cooled off of late, losing its last three games by a combined score of 7-2, including a shutout loss to St. Louis last week. The last few weeks of the season will be pivotal for a team that currently sits outside of the playoffs, with only four of its 24 games remaining versus non-Eastern Conference teams.
With the trade deadline taking place one week from today, February 28 at 3pm, these next few days will certainly be an interesting time for Buffalo fans. While many have called for management to go in recent seasons, GM Darcy Regier and head coach Lindy Ruff are the longest tenured GM-HC tandem in the league. Be sure to check back to THN for updates on the new ownership announcement as well as any trades that may take place in the next seven days.