The NHL will play again this summer after its 2019-20 season was stopped in mid-March due to the COVID 19 crisis. Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the details this week, notably that only 24 teams – expanded from the typical playoffs of 16 teams – will once again take part in a Stanley Cup competition.
That leaves seven teams whose season is suddenly over. One of them is the Buffalo Sabers, the 25th seeded team in the NHL classification with 68 points (30-31-8). It is the ninth consecutive season in which the team missed the playoffs and tripled the longest streak of three years to date. And it happened, though Jack Eichel is number 2 in the 2015 draft behind Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers
Believers from West New York are not pleased and it prompted a fan to put the team on Craigslist for sale this week due to the inability of owners Terry and Kim Pegula to “understand hockey” and their decision, General Manager Jason To bring botterill back to investigate.
Sabers Fan lists team for sale
The fan, who is number 1 at Rasmus Dahlin on Twitter in 2018 with “Dahlin Forever”, published it on Wednesday as “a lost team with a die-hard fan base in search of a wealthy owner who really understands hockey”. There is also a blow to Kim Pegula’s position as president of the Sabers and Buffalo Bills.
The rest of the listing:
Organization cheap. Could be turned around. Large structural damage, but only a few core pieces still exist.
-Franchise must remain in the current city and is not authorized to move.
– The immediate family (i.e. the wife) is not entitled to an internal position within the organization
– Must provide “team puppy”
Kudos to the puppy deal as it is essentially an NHL required roster position at this time.
The poster tweeted on Thursday that someone had placed a bid. But in the potential buyer’s own proposal, two wooden nickel “are probably too much to offer”.
Why offer the Sabers for sale?
The fan is called Jill Thompson and she told the Buffalo News that she missed the feeling of being a proud Sabers fan when her father took her to play in the late 1980s.
She told the news:
“We were a respected and proud hockey community. This feeling was exhilarating and directly reflected the owners at the time and their passion and commitment to the city and their ice hockey team. Fast forward to the current times and we are at a polar opposite of that Spectrum.
“Unfortunately, when I post on the Sabers on Twitter, it’s negative, and that’s because I get upset about the level of disrespect / lack of accountability / neglect of everything down to the smallest details that the owners show us As one of the most loyal fan communities in all sports, we deserve it better.
“Ultimately, the Pegulas not only give us a bad name in hockey, they also give the city of Buffalo a bad name. This made me find some humor in such a miserable place and put the ad on Craigslist to do it to attempt.” Sell the franchise to owners who take care of it. “
Thompson said she recently returned from Charlotte to Buffalo and was considering becoming a season ticket holder, but ultimately decided not to give the owners a choice.
Buffalo’s problems with pegulas go beyond losses
The Sabers belonged to 1970-96 Seymour Knox III and Northrup Knox and missed the playoffs for a total of three years. Her only trips to the Stanley Cup Final were 1974-75 and 1998-99. There is no Stanley Cup in the trophy case.
Terry Pegula bought the team from Tom Golisano in 2011 and later the Buffalo Bills in 2014. He and Kim also owned the Buffalo Bandits Box Lacrosse team and once owned the NWHL’s Buffalo Beauts, though they returned to the league in May 2019. Their “One Buffalo” branding prevailed at local businesses and should cover all real estate and Unite fans into a proud region.
This initial goodwill has a catch. This spring, the owners started layoffs, vacations, and wage cuts amid the corona virus crisis. At about the same time, an article by The Athletic described a “toxic culture” within Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the company that oversees the teams.
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