Sabres Owner Terry Pegula
Wednesday marked the one year anniversary of Terry Pegula taking ownership of the Buffalo Sabres.
Without question, Pegula has done much to enhance the franchise. The Hockey department went from a "break even" mandate under former owner Tom Golisano to an open checkbook under Pegula. The Sabres acquired Brad Boyes at the trade deadline last season, and then signed forward Ville Leino and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff this summer. They also acquired veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr, and signed defenseman Tyler Myers and winger Drew Stafford to contract extensions. Combined, Pegula committed in excess of $130-million to the roster now and into the future. The Sabres have the league's highest payroll this season.
The results have not translated on the ice.
As of Wednesday, the Sabres were six points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one more point back as compared to a year ago at this time.
Injuries and inconsistent play have plagued the Sabres all season long.
Off the ice, Pegula also invested millions into arena and locker room improvements.
There's no question the franchise is on extremely solid footing, and no reason to believe Pegula's approach won't pay off in the long run. There is the legitimate question about leadership of the hockey department. Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff are extremely well qualified hockey men. But has the philosophy and the message become stale? Pegula has maintained publicly that he will stay with Regier and Ruff.
So after year one there has been plenty of investment both financial and emotional.
One the ice, the early returns have not met projections.