There was anticipation when new owner Terry Pegula took over the Buffalo Sabres in 2011 with deep pockets and a commitment to winning. Likewise when he opened up his wallet that summer to bring in the best free agents available. Granted it was a thin market that year and things blew up in his face, but Pegula followed through with his declaration that he’d be taking off the financial chains and moving an organizational mandate from “just break even” to “the Buffalo Sabres’ reason for existence will be to win the Stanley Cup.”
The loose, three-year time-frame that Pegula put on making it to their ultimate goal took a bit of a Griswold detour featuring a comedy of errors lead to an extensive overhaul for the franchise. From team president on down, very few were spared. Three seasons and four drafts later this incarnation of the Buffalo Sabres, one that’s filled with high-draft picks and young veterans just beginning to enter their prime years, will hit the ice for the most anticipated season in years.
Sabres fans expectations have invariably pumped to the point of sheer frenzy in the past, and in every occasion the prize was out of reach. One need to go no further back than the first quarter of the 2015 NFL season to see a Buffalo Bills fan-base get stoked to the point of ponying up for a franchise record-breaking 65,000 season tickets only to have their team get embarrassed twice in front them.
When the Sabres hit the ice at
fans will be in tizzy as two years of “suffering” are
now in the past and the future begins now. It's the beginning of "the Next Chapter” in the book that is the history of the Buffalo
Sabres, but it’s only the first paragraph of the first page. Win or lose, fans know (or should know)
that there’s a new coaching staff and a revamped roster featuring 12 players 24 yrs. old or younger. New head coach Dan Bylsma will be guiding the youngest team in the league, according to nhlnumbers.com at an average age of 26.230 yrs old, and there will be growing pains. First Niagara