I feel terrible for fans of the Coyotes. Maybe there aren’t enough fans in Arizona to make an NHL team profitable, but no matter how you slice it, for individual fans, this is a heart breaker. I would be devastated if the Sabres left Buffalo.
I understand that there is still a LOT that would need to happen in order to move the team to Hamilton. The more I’ve read about the situation, the more confused I’ve become.
To me, the idea of a team in Hamilton is scary, but I’m not sure how much of this fear is just a symptom of the nearly constant message we receive in Buffalo that the things around here are eroding. I’ll admit, I’m not sure I would have had the stomach for the relocation scare that Sabres fans had to live through before the lockout. The totally irrational fear that the Sabres might never be Cup contenders again is certainly unpleasant, but that unpleasantness absolutely pales in comparison to how I feel when I allow myself to consider that the Sabres might not always be in Buffalo.
One of the things I love about following the Sabres right now (certainly in contrast to the Bills) is that we ARE a good hockey market. Or, a least we’re good enough. Hamilton scares me though, because as passionate as we are about hockey, the underlying threat in Buffalo (BUFFALO IS IN DECLINE) is constant.
Whether the fear is reality-based or not, sometimes in Buffalo it feels like we’re just one bad turn away from getting permanently lost.
I just hope that whoever is making the decisions concerning the relocation of the Coyotes really knows what they are doing, and I hope that whatever ends up happening, it doesn’t put the longterm health of the Sabres in jeopardy.
I guess we just cross our fingers and hope for the best.
I stole this chart from Mirtle. Check out From the Rink for excellent coverage of the Coyote/Basillie situation.