In San Jose, David Pollak reports the Sharks before their home opener against the Coyotes Thursday “put a collective apology on the videoboard, a montage of players, general manager Doug Wilson, executive vice-president Malcolm Bordelon and ... an usher.” The relevant line during the video shared by several speakers was, “We want to apologize for any hardship the last four months have caused our fans, our partners, our community” (MERCURYNEWS.com, 1/25). Meanwhile, the MERCURY NEWS' Eric Kurhi notes the sentiment among many fans at Thursday's game "ran one of two ways.” There was the "it's over; let's move on" crowd, just “happy to get half a season and hope a showstopping labor dispute doesn't happen again.” Then there are those “who acknowledge some bitterness remains, although they've let enough of it go that it doesn't mess with their enjoyment of the game” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/25).
TEAM SPIRIT: The Sabres announced that last week’s Fan Appreciation Sale at the team store helped to set up a week of record-breaking sales. The Sabres Store through the seven-day sale sold nearly 50,000 pieces of merchandise, the most the team has ever sold in such a short period of time and a total that was greater than the amount sold during the entire ’10-11 season. The store sold more than 8,000 jerseys and 9,000 hats (Sabres).
TALKING THE TALK: In St. Paul, Charley Walters reports negotiations between T’Wolves Owner Glen Taylor and a "potential out-of-state buyer for the Wolves and Lynx continue, but any deal is at least a month away.” A purchase would “require that the NBA and WNBA teams remain in Minnesota” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/25).