The Buffalo Sabres are petitioning the National Hockey League to suspend operations for next season. Realizing they are going to again be one of the worst teams in the league – the Sabres are requesting quietly that the league allow them to suspend operations for one season – to assist in the rebuilding effort.
The Sabres reasoning is – why should they endanger the welfare of the players when there will be little more than pride to play for – as management is looking for two years of high draft selections to help rebuild an organization stuck in turmoil and despair.
The Sabres request is a three fold request actually. At the heart of it – they are trying to protect their fans. Knowing the overwhelming disappointment and anger the fans have expressed this year – to the point that many of them are numb to the losing -Terry Pegula knows he runs the risk of losing more and more of the fan-base if the madness continues.
Season ticket holders get a year of savings – but their places are held just as if the season was actually played in Buffalo.
One of the biggest hurdles to get over before they could make the request to the league however was the NHLPA. The risk of injury to one of the members of the union in a senseless year was built into the Buffalo Sabres pitch, but the NHLPA balked at the idea at first.
To further help their case, the Buffalo Sabres assured the league that they would honor the contracts of the players as if the team played the season out, and anyone reaching a pending free agency either unrestricted or restricted would still reach those milestones at the end of the season, and players will be traded/treated just as if the season was played in full.
The biggest reason the Buffalo Sabres have made this request through the league office is to curtail the talk of “tanking” preventative measures. Talk first surfaced of the Sabres pulling the plug on next season to ensure the league would keep the current draft lottery setup, and guarantee the Buffalo Sabres have the best odds at obtaining the number one draft pick in the 2015 draft as well.
Discussions are starting as to whether the Sabres would lose any of the percentage points that a last place finish would offer given the fact they wouldn’t be playing for last place. Whatever points the Sabres would lose in the next draft lottery would then be spread out amongst the other draft lottery eligible teams after next season.
Of course you know you shouldn’t believe anything you read on the internet from about noon eastern time on March 31st to about noon eastern time on April 2nd as writers try and spin their evil webs of fiction to see if they can get a rumor started and go viral. I figured since we had so little to laugh about this year as Sabres fans – this would be a great day shed some of the serious tone and get a little lighter for a laugh or too. So I hope you enjoyed this – and didn’t take it too seriously.
The league would never allow a team to suspend operations just because they are forecasted to be bad again – and despite being bad – the amount of revenue the organization would lose would be huge. The only time in the past the NHL has allowed a team to suspend operations, is when they were in financial trouble, and there are enough cities in North America that would take on a struggling team relocation is more likely than suspension of hockey operations.
Happy April Fools Day!