As Sabres fans over the last few years we’ve been repeatedly told that the for the good of the franchise, and to ensure the future of the franchise, the organization has to move cautiously and prudently. I’ve always believed that the Sabres have intelligent businessmen running the show, and so I’ve never questioned their conservative philosophy from a business perspective. I believe it when the Sabres tell us that their profit margin is narrow, and I think Golisano has every right to demand that his business balances their books.
Every Sabres fan owes Golisano a “Thanks, man,” for way he stepped in and restored the Sabres as viable Buffalo institution. So yes, we’re grateful to Tom Golisano.
What if it were different?
What if we had an owner who cared about winning above all else? What if the next owner is comfortable losing a few million dollars here and there? What if the new guy wants to treat the Sabres like his own personal fantasy hockey team? What if when the Sabres suck, people lose their jobs? What if someone tells Darcy Reiger, “Shut up about draft picks and stop calling 18-year-old boys, ‘assets’. Build me a winner right now.” What if Larry Quinn doesn’t work for the Sabres anymore? What if Terry Pegula cares as much as us? What if he’s annoyed when the games are boring? What if he wants to own a team in Buffalo, not because of tax breaks and profit margins and sound investments, but so that he can win a Cup?
In Buffalo we’ve been systematically taught that, above all else, stability is the number one goal. But what if Terry Pegula comes in and says, “The Sabres are stable because I own them. End of story.”
What if Terry Pegula is just doing this for fun?
I find these questions electrifying. I understand that there are perfectly good reasons to temper my enthusiasm about this random stranger, but I don’t care. The most frustrating thing about being a Sabres fan over the last few years has been the sense that nothing will ever change. New ownership challenges that notion, and I am incredibly excited about the possibilities. I don’t want to be prudent, and I don’t want to be cautious. Hell, I don’t even want to be reasonable. I’m savoring this chance to dream big, and I think you should too.
Sometimes things do change, and this could change everything.
Let’s go Buff-a-lo!