On Wednesday evening, I had the privilege to attend the Buffalo Sabres Blogger Summit at the First Niagara Center.
The event started at 5:30 p.m. when Buffalo Sabres and Rochester Americans President Ted Black walked through the door. Before starting the event, he went table-by-table and personally introduced himself to every blogger present at the Summit.
Here are some of the questions asked and some of the key quotes from Ted Black:
Regarding a Regional Sports Network
– “There would not be enough professional content to put on a channel for it to work.”
– “We would be able to show about 70 of the 82 games, so it would be very difficult money wise to make a channel work.”
– “We are also in an exclusive contract with MSG for many years.”
WiFi Hotspots at First Niagara Center
– 3 public ones currently available
– Currently experiencing a capacity issue. Hotspots cost around $1,000 per device and hold 50 people per device.
– “Will definitely look into” getting more hotspots at First Niagara Center.
– Fans and bloggers want to be kept in touch about what is going on.
– Alumni Nights at First Niagara Center in the Party Tent will continue.
– Dave Andreychuk will be here in February.
– Brad May will be here in March.
– “There will not be Sabres regular season games in Rochester.”
– Sabres preseason games in Rochester are a very good possiblity.
– “Might not happen next season due to training camp schedule being pushed back next season but it’s definitely in the plans.”
– Would like to see more Amerks events in Buffalo, but “just not ready for that.”
– “Would like to see the NHL Winter Classic back in Buffalo”
– Definitely would talk to the AHL about bring the AHL Winter Classic to Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester.
– Would welcome the NHL All-Star Game and NHL Draft to the First Niagara Center.
– Very encouraged and excited about the Amerks fans who are going to games at the Blue Cross Arena.
Blue Cross Arena Renovations
– Blue Cross Arena is a “pretty nice AHL arena for its’ age.”
– Amerks not master tenant at BCA, therefore it is almost impossible for the organization to renovate.
Coach/GM Contract Terms
– “I don’t release contract terms for Lindy or Darcy because it’s not how I do business. It’s always been my personal policy.”
– The reported 6-7 year deal for Lindy is “completely inaccurate.”
– Black challenged bloggers/media to “be more accountable before throwing things at the wall.”
– “We obviously know there is a level of frustration.”
– “It’s obviously not where we want to be.”
– “Not happy” with current state of team.
– Many fans need to “take a step back.”
– “This organization is 1 to 2 years further into growth than expected.”
– “Although they may not be performing, the organization has signed high talent.”
– “Pittsburgh won the Sidney Crosby lottery, Buffalo won the owner lottery.”
– “This is not XBox boys and girls,” regarding trades.
– “Darcy has every resource available.”
– “The team has gone through a ton of injuries.”
– “The Rangers top-nine forwards have missed a combined one man game. The Sabres are almost at 200 man games lost at this point.”
– “Injuries are not a crutch, they are a factor, just as much as not scoring goals is a factor.”
– “Buffalo has gone from a place no free agent wanted to play to a place that is at the top of everybody’s list.”
– “I hear the frustration.”
– “If you think Terry Pegula is sitting back and doing nothing, you haven’t been watching.”
Atmosphere at First Niagara Center
– “Winning is the best entertainment going.”
– “I have to ask Ville if he wants to work the DJ booth,” regarding Leino’s comments about the quiet crowd.
– “I guess I gotta tell him and Terry to quiet down,” regarding Mike Weber’s comments about being able to hear a married couple fight.
– Buffalo is a “older, more mature hockey market.”
– “I’ll go to the 300 section if I have to and start the chants. I’ve done it before.”
LBGT/Salvation Army controversy
– “Unaware of the situation but I will look into it.”
– “If it’s true, the Salvation Army will not be welcome at the First Niagara Center.”
– Click here to learn/read more about this.
The quote of the evening was when Ted Black was discussing the current direction of the organization, “we are going to win a Stanley Cup or die trying.”