Monday, December 08, 2008

Et tu Buffalo

"The Sabres are definitely in play,"— an anonymous source relaying intriguing information to Jim Kelley of about the fate of the Buffalo Sabres

As if to make his days more interesting this week, Sportsnet's favourite New York state import has apparently discovered that negotiations are in the incubation stage that might see a sale of the Buffalo Sabres, with everyone’s favourite billionaire, Jim Balsillie up on the Rolodex as the potential investor. A suggestion that Sabres officials are throwing cold water on, though many see smoke and wait for the fire.

The Blackberry King of Kitchener/Waterloo, or whoever else may pop into the picture apparently going to get the Sabres at a fairly reasonable price, well reasonable by NHL standards anyways. The price point of NHL teams is apparently on the decline, the Lightning reportedly sold for 206 million this year, 6 million more than what the NHL believes is it’s financial line of concern, where a drop below 200 million will detract on the perception that all is forward movement in the offices of Bettman Financial.

For Balsillie, part of the lure is a reported arrangement where a portion of the Sabres schedule would be played out of the Copps Coliseum, the other portion remaining at the HSBC centre in Buffalo, we assume that any playoff dates would be on neutral ground, lets say the St. Catherines Gatorade Garden City Arena Complex … relax, we joke, we joke Sabres fans.
It’s a scenario that is no doubt causing more angst in Wing city, what with their football heroes testing the waters of a Northern adventure with many thinking the Bills plans for Toronto involve more than just the occasional (and as it turned out really bad) regular season game. Just the thin wedge many fear of a potential relocation to the city to the North, giving Buffalo fans honorary Canadian citizenship, joining in with the rest of Canada in their unfettered hatred of everything Toronna..

The t’s aren’t anywhere near being crossed, and those I’s haven’t seen a dot yet, so there may be time for Buffalo to salvage a full season of hockey at the local rink. The answer however is drastic and will take a hearty hockey fan to follow it through.

For Sabres fans there is but one hope, the Sabres must immediately begin to tank the season, becoming so horrific an operation on the ice that even the most desperate of Canadian cities (and billionaire owners) would say Thanks but no thanks.

Forgo those always rosy dreams of a Stanley Cup, its bottom feeding you want, trolling the lower 20’s of the overall standings, not good enough to make the playoffs, not bad enough to secure a draft pick of any consequence.

Kind of like the Leafs have been for more than a few years/decades now…

No comments: