SBD/August 19, 2014/Franchises

Sabres To Bid On More Events After Being Named NHL Combine Host For '15, '16

Sabres President Ted Black yesterday revealed that the team has "already put in a bid to host the 2016 NHL Draft and will be inquiring with the league to host a future All-Star Game, something Buffalo has not done since 1978," according to Mike Harrington of the BUFFALO NEWS. Black also reiterated the Sabres' plan to "bid on the 2018 World Junior Championships when that process opens in the coming months." His comments came on the heels of the NHL announcing the league's annual scouting combine will be held in Buffalo "the next two years." If granted, the Draft itself would be "held on the floor of First Niagara Center," as it was in '98, but "ancillary events could now be held in HarborCenter." HarborCenter President John Koelmel said, "We've targeted certain events. Events have targeted us. We're working hard to ensure there's a good marriage." Harrington notes the Sabres' new facility "was chosen over a bid" by the Penguins to host the combine in late May of '15 and '16. It has been held in Toronto since '99. NHL Senior Exec VP/Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said, "It just seemed like a natural fit with what [Sabres Owners] Terry and Kim Pegula are doing now with this location" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/19). Campbell said Buffalo has a "good chance" of hosting the combine beyond '16 (AP, 8/18). In Buffalo, James Fink noted officials involved in the deal said that having the ability to "use both the HarborCenter and First Niagara Center was a key factor." The "tie-in with Kaleida Health, which is partnering with the Sabres and NHL to present the combine, was also called a plus" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/18).

WHAT FOOTBALL TEAM? Black said that it has been "business as usual" for the Sabres as the Pegulas are "in the thick of the bidding to become owners" of the Bills. He added that there has "been no change in the team's operations and no inability to stay in touch with ownership while the Pegulas are pursuing an NFL franchise." Black: "They hired me to run the business and they hired [GM] Tim Murray to run the hockey" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/19).
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