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Sporting News calls Buffalo best NHL city

My employment with The Buffalo News began the day after Home Run Throwback in January 2000. I arrived from Las Vegas to find a city devastated by a trick play and still smarting from No Goal six months earlier.

Let's just say the mood wasn't peppy.

In that time I've watched the Sabres endure the Darius Kasparaitis dagger, miss the playoffs a franchise-record three straight seasons, survive a bankruptcy, rebound to reach the Eastern Conference finals two years in a row and win a Presidents' Trophy.

Somewhere along the way -- I sense it smoldered during the 2006 playoffs and became a wildfire when they won their first 10 games last season and lost only once in regulation through 17 games -- the Sabres surpassed the Bills as Buffalo's team of choice.

I watched Buffalo become an NHL city, and today The Sporting News went so far as to call Buffalo the best NHL city of them all.

Writer Ray Slover mostly cited our region's gaudy TV ratings and mentioned the HSBC Arena sellout streak in making his selection, but I can say it goes beyond that. In traveling around the league, I'm always impressed by how well Sabres fans will hit the road to see their team. NHL reporters constantly come up to me in their home press boxes and marvel at how many Sabres fans are in the building.

To further illustrate how much more attention the Sabres receive than the Bills do lately, blog statistics show three times as many unique page views for the Sabres Edge over the BillBoard in the past seven days. In that time, the Sabres re-signed two players as formalities, while the Bills opened training camp, signed their first-round draft pick to avoid a potentially lengthy holdout and traded away a disgruntled player.

Sabres fans, you are incredible.

For the record, The Sporting News also named Green Bay the best football town, Los Angeles the top baseball city, San Antonio the No. 1 hoops city, Daytona, Fla., the best NASCAR town and Gainesville, Fla., the best college town

---Tim Graham

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |