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Sabres Central

Sabres need "Extreme Makeover" from top on down

The "Extreme Makeover" came to Buffalo last year and did wonders for a family in a very poor neighborhood. The Buffalo Sabres could use a similar makeover. There's hope that the rumors are right, that Terry Pegula will come in riding a white horse and right the wrongs the Sabres fans have had to endure the past 5 years.

The Sabres stood pat after last season, with the smug Darcy Regier just making a few minor moves to help the team that lost 2 key defensemen after last season plus others. Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins, who beat the division-winning Sabres last year in the playoffs, went full steam ahead in trying to upgrade the team.

Regier has overstayed his welcome by 13 years. This Niles Crane look-alike has to be the first one to go if Pegula does actually buy the team. If Tom Golisano remains the owner, then the Sabres fans can expect no change in the front office. Regier, Larry Quinn and Lindy Ruff are here for as long as they want with Golisano owning the team. The Sabres fans deserve much better!

With teams like Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Columbus, Phoenix and Carolina struggling at the gate but having better records than the Sabres, who play before a full house night in and night out, it is really unfair to the Sabres supporters. Even teams like Florida Panthers, who have trouble getting their arena half filled, go out and try to bring in better players. Not so with the Sabres brass. Just like their football counterparts the Buffalo Bills, who are going on 11 years without a playoff appearance, the key is the bottom line. If the fans continue to fork over their hard-earned paychecks for season tickets, what is the need to spend money to bring in better talent? The owners of these two losing franchises are laughing all the way to the bank!

The only hope left is for the sale to go through and Pegula to become the new owner. Sure, Sabres fans don't know anything about him except that he used to be a Sabres season ticket holder, that he donated $88 million to help build a new arena for Penn State and that he is committed more towards winning than the bottom line. If he becomes owner, he certainly won't move the team (like some Bills fans are worried about after the passing of Ralph Wilson). He can't do any worse than the Golisano approved team of Quinn-Regier-Ruff, and most likely will make the team much more enjoyable to watch. The fans, who have paid dearly to support the team (financially and emotionally), certainly deserve better.

World Juniors to the rescue for beleaguered WNY hockey fans

There's some relief coming for Western New York hockey fans. After putting up with some terribly boring, clutch-and-grab NHL hockey for so many years and having to watch the Sabres play a horrible brand of hockey this year, they are going to be treated to some real hockey.

While the NHL has gone right back to its pre-lockout trap and interference hockey, the World Junior championships are headed to Buffalo right after Christmas to save the day. It is definitely a Christmas present for hockey-starved fans who have endured the boring NHL style for so long.

Back will be the excitement of more open hockey where they can watch the best of Junior hockey in all its glory.

As the teams from all over the world descend upon Buffalo and Niagara Falls, the hockey fans from WNY and Canada await like children waiting Santa Claus.

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