Larry Quinn is perhaps one of the most polarizing people in all of Buffalo, sports or not. Maybe you're rubbed the wrong way by him but the bottom line is this: There's no HSBC Arena without him and there's no Erie Canal Harbor without him. Those are two huge lines he'll always have on his bio.
Now Quinn and COO Dan DiPofi have become minority owners of the Sabres. Could mean nothing but a few more bucks in their pockets. Could mean something as big as more politically-involved Tom Golisano continuing to lessen his influence on the hockey team and ship more and more of it to Quinn/DiPofi.
Given the Sabres' relatively stable offseason, Quinn was certainly upbeat when I talked to him Wednesday afternoon. You can read the bulk of his comments in Thursday's paper. I was struck, however, by the point he made about how all the playoff hockey the Sabres endured the first two seasons after the lockout took their toll last year.
You started to hear the same things about the Bills in the 1995-97 range after their golden era wore out. The Sabres, however, seem primed for a quick reload as they're locking up core players to longterm contracts.
"I just think we're really hungry and positive and rested," Quinn said. "You have to remember that in a lot of ways we were the first really great team after the lockout. We essentially were a test case for the CBA and how other teams looked to raid our players. You're seeing that now with Pittsburgh and Ottawa. Nobody was happy with what happened last year but it was no big catastrophe either. We had guys in new roles, people hurt, some games we should have won and didn't, and a group that was really pretty emotionally tired by the end."
(Photo: Harry Scull/Buffalo News)
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