Let’s face it, this Buffalo Sabres team that takes the ice on a nightly basis isn’t much, and isn’t attractive enough to make UFA’s either want to stay in Buffalo, or come to Buffalo. There are nights when the Sabres look like an NHL team; then others they are simply outmatched in every category and unfortunately, that’s the price to pay when entering a rebuild like the Buffalo Sabres are.
It’s going to be tough to convince Matt Moulson and Steve Ott to stay and free agents like Ryan Callahan to come to Buffalo. As of right now, the next few seasons will be rough for fans of the present team on the ice. However, that’s not stopping owner Terry Pegula from spending money hidden deep in his pockets to turn Buffalo into a hockey desirable city once again.
The first thing Pegula wanted to do was build a top notch hockey facility for the community and junior hockey teams to
play in. That became the Harbor Front center, a massive building which will feature two rinks and a hotel for any minor hockey tournaments. It will also have class rooms and a high level training facility. The Harbor Front project is a big one, has the Buffalo Sabres look to impact hockey in the Buffalo area and help improve the cities hockey image.
The next big piece of the puzzle to rebuilding the city of Buffalo and rebuilding their hockey reputation is obtaining some special NHL events. While the Buffalo Sabres aren’t in line for an outdoor game, Winter Classic or an all star game, there is another even that Mr. Pegula has his eyes on bringing to Buffalo.
The annual draft combine leading up to the official NHL draft is usually held in Toronto. This is the event where all the draft eligible players come and under go numerous physical tests while scouts watch from the wings and interview certain players. The Buffalo Sabres are making a strong push to move the even to Buffalo and Gary Bettman is seriously considering the move.
The Harbor Front complex is already bringing lots of interest from the hockey world. USA hockey will be playing their next two All-American prospect games at the Harbor Front Center and the Sabres are preparing to take a run at landing the 2018 World Juniors. With the NHL considering bringing the draft combine to Harbor Center, the program is only going to get stronger as Pegula does his part to make Buffalo into a living, breathing hockey town.
Once the Buffalo Sabres get all the pieces in their rebuild and the Harbor Center is up and running with a World Junior, USA hockey and possibly the draft combine, the Buffalo Sabres are once again going to become a team free agents wouldn’t mind playing for. Buffalo may one day become hockey heaven again!