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With WJC Over, Pegula Watch Begins

Joyous Russian hockey fans weren’t the only ones enthusiastically counting down the final seconds of the World Juniors gold medal game last night.

No sooner had an ecstatic group of Russian teenagers on HSBC Arena ice started celebrating and screaming stuff that we couldn’t understand than Sabres fans at home began holding their breath in anticipation of “The Announcement”.

It was as if they were glued to the television waiting for Managing Partner Larry Quinn to walk out onto the ice right after the Russian anthem, grab the microphone, look into the TSN cameras and spill the beans. “Igor, Yevgeni, great job tonight.  Now, for those of you Buffalo Sabres fans who may be watching, I have some exciting news…”

There had been recent reports from the Buffalo News and other mainstream sources stating that the Sabres sale to Terry Pegula was being finalized, and that outgoing owner Tom Golisano wanted to wait to announce it until after the World Juniors so as not to distract from the excitement of the tournament.

We kind of knew this was coming.  When you don’t see your girlfriend as often and when you hardly ever hear from her anymore, you can sense that she’s lost interest.  Only in this case you’re thrilled because you want this breakup more than anything, because there’s someone three times as hot who you’ve heard would really like to be with you.

Sabres Nation just can’t wait for the New Guy.  To be honest, some of the talk around town has gotten a little crazy.  I had one friend tell me how great it will be when “Pegula comes in here with all of that money and buys out all of those bad contracts.”

For some strange reason, upon hearing this, I had a flashback to the girl who couldn’t wait for Obama to get inaugurated so that he could pay for her mortgage.

Pegula does seem like the perfect man for the task at hand, and things may soon get exciting in these parts.  But let’s just not get overly nuts here.  This is Buffalo.  We live in a town with one skyscraper and we can’t even keep that occupied.  In the realm of sizable and lucrative hockey markets, we aren’t exactly the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Unless the man knocks my socks off by telling the media that he wouldn’t blink an eye at losing $10 million per year owning this hockey team to pursue a Stanley Cup, then I’m not going to fill the hope tank with unrealistic expectations.  And if you as a Sabres fan have even a single ounce of historical awareness then you shouldn’t either.

It’s also important to note that a few local media folks, including WGR’s Chris “The Bulldog” Parker, have been told by some people in the know that this isn’t going to happen as quickly as originally reported.  Translation: It’s a complicated business transaction so just be patient - at some point it’ll get done.

Regardless of the timetable, “Pegula is the new owner of the Buffalo Sabres” does have a nice ring to it.  If he’s even half as thirsty for a drink from the Cup as we’ve been told, then this can’t happen soon enough.

Twitter: @DaveDavisHockey

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: buffalo+sabres, chris+parker, larry+quinn, terry+pegula, tom+golisano


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com