|Pegula says front office will|
not have any financial restraints
WHATEVER IT TAKES: Pegula on Versus' "NHL Overtime" last night said "the chains are off." Pegula: "It's pedal to the metal. I said today there'll be no financial mandates on our hockey department -- scouting, player development -- and I meant that. I'm going to do whatever it takes financially within a reasonable means. Nobody likes to waste money, but if we're going to lose money and spend too much, it's going to be on the scouting and player development side." Versus' Jeremy Roenick said Pegula is "exactly what the National Hockey League and Gary Bettman wants in
NO. 1 FAN: In Buffalo, John Vogl writes Pegula's introduction was an "unquestioned success in HSBC Arena." He "laughed, cried and proved himself to be a Buffalo guy, albeit one with deep pockets" (BUFFALO NEWS, 2/23). Also in Buffalo, Mike Harrington writes the "signature moment" of Pegula's introduction was when he said that he "couldn't look to his right." He "couldn't look at the section of the HSBC Arena atrium where the team's alumni were sitting because once he saw Gilbert Perreault, he'd break down and cry." But Pegula "did look," and he told Perrault, "You're my hero." And "then he did cry." Harrington: "His love for the old Sabres certainly will help Pegula connect with the alumni, who became increasingly distressed by the reign of Tom Golisano and Larry Quinn" (BUFFALO NEWS, 2/23). NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who introduced Pegula, said, "He loves the game and this is a dream come true for him. It's also a dream come true for the league because we know this franchise is in great hands" (AP, 2/22).
FRESH SET OF EYES: In Buffalo, Bucky Gleason writes Pegula is a "diehard fan, but the key to reaching the goal will be making sure he doesn't operate like one." The Sabres "will need an objective evaluation as they move forward to ensure sentiment doesn't cloud their judgment," and Pegula "took a step toward juggling both after hiring" Black and Sawyer. Both men "have good reputations and sound experience, something that had been missing behind ... Regier for much of his tenure." Black and Sawyer "bring a fresh set of eyes from the outside to examine the organization" (BUFFALO NEWS, 2/23). Also in Buffalo, Jerry Sullivan writes Sabres fans are "ready for real change, for a fresh start." They have "had enough of the slow, tentative approach." Sullivan: "Leave Regier in the GM's chair for now if you have to. But this team needs to be judged through a fresh set of eyes, someone with no emotional ties to anyone on the roster. The sooner the job comes open, the better. That way, any potential candidates will know the Buffalo job is available and the wheels of change can begin to turn" (BUFFALO NEWS, 2/23).