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Pegula Reportedly Has Signed Letter
Of Intent To Purchase Sabres
East Resources President & CEO Terry Pegula "continues working quietly behind the scenes while making sure every detail is covered before he buys" the Sabres, according to Bucky Gleason of the BUFFALO NEWS. An NHL source recently confirmed that Pegula "has signed a letter of intent." It "could be another six weeks or longer before he officially becomes owner," but Gleason wrote Pegula buying the team is "a fait accompli" (BUFFALO NEWS, 12/26). Sabres GM Darcy Regier said that current Owner Tom Golisano "has issued no edicts about making moves" despite the reported impending sale. In Buffalo, Mike Harrington noted "nothing has changed from the beginning of the year when the team's budget was set." Regier "can trade, he just can't add money," so moves "have to be dollar for dollar" (BUFFALO NEWS, 12/27).
NOTHING TO SEE HERE: On Long Island, Neil Best noted Islanders Owner Charles Wang "slapped a 'not for sale' sign" on the team last Thursday during an interview with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, "asserting his commitment to both the area and the team, even as it struggles badly on and off the ice." Wang: "We are working very hard to try and keep the team on Long Island because that's my home." Wang added if a deal cannot be reached at the team's current site, "I'd like to be close enough so I can commute to the game and go to all the home games as best I can." Wang: "If it's Queens, great. If it's Suffolk, great. Obviously we want to be in this area because it's our home" (NEWSDAY, 12/24). In N.Y., Larry Brooks wrote Bettman deserves "credit" for asking Wang and Islanders GM Garth Snow "questions that needed to be asked on his radio show Thursday afternoon even if the answers weren't quite satisfactory." The Islanders last month revoked the credentials of Chris Botta, a blogger and former employee, and Brooks joked, "This just in: The Islanders have revoked the commissioner's credential" (N.Y. POST, 12/26).
N.Y. Post writer Mike Vaccaro Sunday revealed his New York Power Index of the nine N.Y.-area "big four" pro sports teams. The unscientific ranking took into account, "in no particular order or importance," where the teams "stack up based on success, relevance, following, newsworthiness, and general importance" (N.Y. POST, 12/26).RANKTEAMCOMMENT1Yankees"It will take some kind of special team and special year to topple them from the summit."2
Jets "This is a special circumstance and they are the only team in 2010 that even came within shouting distance of the Yankees."3 Knicks "Even in rough seas, the Knicks generate more e-mails, more voicemails, more blog-post responses per victory than any team in town."4 Giants "Maybe it's a sad commentary on our times that the Giants can become so easily surpassed by the Jets as a media entity, but they are the clear No. 1 football team in town."5 Mets "The Mets could use an out-of-nowhere, feel-good, 90-win season this year to get it turned around."6 Rangers "Think of them less as No. 6 on this list as No. 1 among the four bottom-dwellers."7 Nets "Moving to Brooklyn will help their profile."8 Devils "Beautiful building. Ugly season."9 Islanders Former players Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Billy Smith would be "50-50 to beat the present group wearing their old sweaters."
York Looking To Hire New
GM, Coach This Offseason
49ers President & CEO Jed York will hire a new coach and GM this offseason, and in S.F., Scott Ostler writes York “has to get it right this time.” Twice in a row York -- “with assists from his mom and dad -- hired spectacularly wrong coaches.” For the 49ers, there are "stadium issues and fan-support issues." One more "bad coach, or coach/GM combo, and York might be forced to rethink his career choice" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/28). But in Oakland, Monte Poole writes the 29-year-old “Baby Boss may be learning his way into his NFL executive gig.” York's decision to fire Mike Singletary as coach shows he can “recognize his own mistake and willingly acknowledge it” (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 12/28). Comcast SportsNet BAY AREA’s Ann Killion noted York is “planning to do what everyone has been imploring the franchise to do for years: hire an experienced football man and turn the football decisions over to him” (CSNBAYAREA.com, 12/27).
MAKING MOVES: Fox’ Jay Glazer during “Fox NFL Sunday” said, “It looks like the next piece to the puzzle in Denver is going to be John Elway. I think Elway will be the top executive there within the next two weeks. I’m being told that Elway is in serious discussions but he’s also trying to get ownership as part of the deal. He’s willing to pay for ownership and is actually putting together lists for potential GM and coaching candidates as well” (Fox). Elway: “We’re still talking and trying to figure out what that role would be and how it looks and what the landscape is” (DENVERPOST.com, 12/24). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Judy Battista notes Broncos QB Tim Tebow’s “most important stat" during Sunday's game against the Texans "might be that there were just 5,700 no-shows for an entirely meaningless game at Invesco Field.” The attendance is a “testament to Tebow’s drawing power” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/28).
END OF YEAR EVALUATIONS: Chargers President & CEO Dean Spanos after the team was eliminated from the playoffs yesterday said that coach Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith “will return in 2011.” Spanos: “The easiest thing in the world is to start over. Who the hell do I go hire? Blow the whole thing up? … I’m not afraid to make changes. If I thought it was warranted, I would do it. We have a good foundation here” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/28). Meanwhile, Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross on Sunday “expressed frustration” with his team’s performance. Ross: “I’m as disappointed as anybody else is. … But I think when you lose at home and you’re not in the playoffs I think that compounds things. As a fan, I’m as disappointed as they are” (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 12/26).