Something The Buffalo Sabres Haven’t Done in 7 Years
I can still hear the words of Terry Pegula echoing thru my mind ever since he bought the team in 2011. "Starting today, the Buffalo Sabres' reason for existence will be to win a Stanley Cup." Then he added "Cups, plural." I never realized Terry Pegula was a comedian. Seven years after making that statement the circus known as the Buffalo Sabres is about as far away from a Stanley Cup as you can get.
One thing I think the owner of the Buffalo Sabres realizes is that before you can compete for a Stanley Cup you have to qualify for the playoffs. Yes, that's something the Sabres haven't done in seven years, but here's something the Sabres will be doing differently for the first time in seven years - they won't be raising season ticket prices.
A letter that went out to season ticket holders this week stated, "You've been loyal to us in one of the most difficult times in franchise history, and you deserve better." At least Pegula gets it. There have many games where I wished I wasn't there. I have better things to do with my time than watch a collection of players who just don't care whether they win or lose and that's why so many fans just don't bother to come anymore.
I've spoken to many season ticket holders who've decided they're done. When you consider the cost of the tickets, plus parking, plus concessions, it's just not worth it anymore. The Sabres won only 11 home games this season and in some games they were blown out of their own building.
Does Pegula have any choice? After raising ticket prices every year since he bought the team, and after the pathetic season the team just completed, it would be financial suicide to raise ticket prices.
"Until we win, it is just words. I just want you to know that I'm in it with you." Game after game and even at the end of the season, all I heard from the players were words. But from general manager Jason Botterill I heard seething anger.
There's one thing we can look forward to. It couldn't get any worse than the 2017-18 season, could it?