this is from thomas vanek's blog with a link at the bottom...vanek, btw, is the new sabres alternate captain as of last night's game vs. the atlanta thrashers
Wow, that was an awesome entrance of our new owner. We had the privilege of meeting Terry Pegula shortly before his press conference in our locker room. Before that all we knew was what was in the media. We knew that he was a big fan of the Sabres and a really knowledgeable hockey person. He confirmed this first impression when he talked to us. Everybody immediately could feel that he loves hockey more than everything else.
He really is the best thing that could have happened to the club and the fans, you simply can’t put it any other way. He’s got some grand plans, but at the same time he’s very down to earth. He believes in what he says and makes a very honest impression. Also, he simply adores his family and it’s important to him that there’s a new and closer family-spirit among the team-members, too. I think it’s great that he’s throwing a big party on Thursday to get to know not only the players and personnel but also their families. I’m sure that the whole team will get even closer now.
It’s hard to say what will change in the weeks and months to come. But Terry Pegula has a vision and he just doesn’t feel like a dry business person. There will quite certainly be a change to our locker room as we’re about to get a new carpet with our logo while we’re on our next lengthy road trip. I really like that. I’ve always wondered why we didn’t have such a carpet before as I already knew that from my time with the Gophers. Back in Minnesota we had a carpet with a big “M” embroidered. The bigger changes will surely come over the summer when the arena isn’t used that much. But nevertheless, there’s already a certain new spirit in here and quite often it’s the little things that make life worthwhile. Why should it be any different for guys in pro sports?
I really hope that we can take this new momentum and translate it into new success on the ice. The last three games were really frustrating. First we come back to fight for a playoff spot and then we start to lose three in a row. Of course, there are no easy opponents in the NHL and every team can beat any other on any given night. But our last three games were simply bad. We didn’t find any rhythm offensively, started to play too cute again and didn’t convert the chances we had.
I can’t really say too much about the two new management guys. But Ted Black and Kevin Sawyer were responsible for getting the Penguins out of bankruptcy and back to being a contender, even winning a Stanley Cup. Why shouldn’t they repeat that feat with our club? We’re not as beaten down as the Penguins were back then. Buffalo also isn’t such a bad place to live, especially as a hockey player. Yeah, guys mostly know the way from the airport to the arena and there certainly are nicer places but that’s not all of Buffalo. There aren’t too many players who departed eagerly once they were here for a few years. Buffalo is a great town to raise your kids and there aren’t many regions in the USA more hockey mad than Western New York. I’m sure our new management will convey this message to any possible new player. There’s a new spirit in town and the future starts now. And I’m really looking forward to it.