So, ever since I’ve heard about the rumored (and now official) Buffalo Sabres sale, I have had this image in my mind of Terry Pegula riding into town on a Buffalo. Sure, he’s got some detractors out there, but as a Sabres fan, this guy sounds like a dream come true. While I’m appreciative of what the Golisano regime did for our city, I can’t believe we are going to be blessed with a fella with such deep pockets, and an equally great passion for the team. It will be fantastic to see the owner of the team actually AT the games again, and hopefully an owner who will speak his mind instead of hiding from press.
In honor of Mr. Pegula’s new purchase, here’s what I’d tell him to change with the Sabres and the HSBC Arena:
Lobby for a return to HOME WHITE uniforms. Traditionally, good guys wear white. I miss seeing the bold colors of the other teams invading the Sabres’ ice.
Ban the use of the Buffalo ‘Dirty Water’ tune at the arena. We’re not the f*cking Red Sox. With all of the songs in the world, is it asking too much to be original?? You won’t be breaking anyone’s heart by removing this song. Little kids will dance to any song with a good beat. Besides, if I had to guess, I’d say this is a Yankees Town anyway.
Bring ‘the Sabre Dance’ more prominently into the mix. Play it often, and loud! And mix up the versions. . .I love the classic Khachaturian version, but there’s a killer surf rock Sabre Dance floating around out there, as well as the rockin’ one they usually play now.
When a guy on the other team scores, make sure the P.A. announcer reads their season goal tally! Nowadays, it’s just ‘Washington goal scored by #8 Alex Ovechckin’. In my perfect world, it’d be ‘Washington goal, his 45th of the season, scored by #8 Alexander Ovechkin’. I can still hear Milt Ellis reading off names of opposing players, guys like Stephane Richer, and then hearing they’ve scored tons of goals, and then deducing in my young mind that “this guy is one of their best players!” I learned as a fan just from hearing those stats, and I also learned to hate players on the other teams. AND, hating is fun. We need villains, it’s part of the entertainment factor. Sorry NHL.
Get a Mighty Taco somewhere inside of the arena, or a Ted’s.
Hire Rick Dudley as GM.
Retire Hasek’s number 39. It’s absurd that it’s not up in the rafters.
Do what’s necessary to split with MSG network. It’d be super if when the Sabres played in New Jersey, or against the Rangers, if Buffalo fans didn’t have to sit through the opposing team’s intermission broadcasts. Also, MSG apparently is stingy giving out their HD feed, and only has given access to Time Warner. I don’t have Time Warner cable, and I’m missing out on the all the high def action. I’d also love to see Danny Gare back in the broadcast mix, or as a part of the team’s management. If you’re really looking to spend cash, start up something like the Empire Sports Network again.
Give a 10+ year contract to Tyler Myers at the first available opportunity.
Build a Sabres Hall-of-Fame near or inside the arena. Fill it with the kind of memorabilia I would go see in the off-season too. Include nice busts of the inductees, and a viewing area with any Aud seats you could scrounge up to watch classic games & clips. Sell tickets to ‘classic game’ screenings, and donate proceeds to a local charity.
Make a Sabres themed restaurant within walking distance from the Arena. Name sandwiches after players. ‘The Perrault’ be the signature sandwich..or maybe ‘The French Connection’ as a French Dip. ‘The Mogilny’ features Russian dressing. ‘The Snuggerud’ is bland and plain, yet funny just like its namesake. Have contests where fans can create these player sandwiches and drinks. Again, fill the place with classic Sabres memorabilia.
That’s about all I’ve got. I’m MORE than excited for this new era of Sabres hockey, and wish Mr. Pegula the best of luck in bringing the Cup to Buffalo! If you have some ideas of your own, let’s hear them . . .