BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Buffalo Sabres President and General Manager addressed the media for the first time since an agreement was reached to end the NHL lockout.
President Ted Black says the Sabres appreciate the patience of their fans and that they are entitled to an apology from everyone involved in the lockout.
Training camp is expected to begin no sooner than this coming weekend. It cannot start until the owners and players ratify the collective bargaining agreement.
GM Darcy Regier says there's still no word yet on when a shortened training camp will begin, but possibly either Saturday, Sunday or Monday.
A schedule has not been set, but Black indicated the first home game for the Sabres may be Sunday, January 20.
As soon as the new schedule is released by the NHL, the team will get tickets out to season ticket holders and announce details on remaining tickets.
Regier says he Sabres have pulled forwards Cody Hodgson and Marcus Foligno out of the lineup in Rochester. Regier says training camp will be small and may look into integrating some of the Rochester players.
For now, several Sabres players are skating at the Northtown Center in Amherst, preparing for a short camp and a condensed regular season schedule.
Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller spoke with 2 On Your Side's Adam Benigni just after a deal was reached on Sunday morning. Miller apologized to the fans in Buffalo.
Sabres President Ted Black told WGR Radio on Monday that he did not know if an apology meant anything to the fans. Despite that, he did issue the following statement:
We are very pleased that the owners and the players' union were able to come together and agree upon the framework for a new, 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. With the new CBA, a fair deal is in place to ensure that the NHL remains strong and continues to be the world's best showcase for hockey.
As an organization, the Buffalo Sabres have always cherished our passionate fans and their unyielding love of hockey. We want to sincerely thank our fans for their patience during this process and their consistent support of our team for the past several months. During those months, we have kept your dedication in mind as we have continued to make Buffalo a premiere destination for hockey.
Once the CBA is ratified, our organization will move quickly to make sure all of our fans and partners have the required information they need regarding the schedule, beginning of training camp, season tickets, mini-packs and individual ticket sales. We have a plan in place and will execute it over the next several days, once we're able to do so.
It's time again to play, watch and enjoy the game we all love. The Buffalo Sabres will remain committed to the one goal Terry Pegula set for this franchise when he became owner nearly two years ago: winning the Stanley Cup. I look forward to a successful 2012-13 season and an exciting new chapter for hockey.
Theodore N. Black
President/NHL Alternate Governor
WGRZ/ Buffalo Sabres