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Balsillie says move won't hurt Sabres

Jim Balsillie has studied the Southern Ontario hockey market, and the man who is hoping to bring the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, Ont., is convinced a new team in the area would not hurt the attendance of the Buffalo Sabres or Toronto Maple Leafs.

Balsillie appeared on ESPN Radio on Friday, and the Blackberry mogul said the number of hockey die-hards in the area would allow all three teams to thrive if his bid to purchase and move the Coyotes is accepted.

The Sabres have stated 20 percent of their revenue comes from Southern Ontario.

“There’s no question the teams will do very, very well and continue to do very well,” Balsillie said. “I don’t think that’s of a principal concern in terms of their gate.

“It’ll be fertile. There’s twice as many fans in this sort of Southern Ontario area, as surveyed, as in the whole New York area. There’s three teams there, and there’s one here. If New York can support three, then you can argue that Southern Ontario can support six. All we’re looking for is a second here.”

Balsillie and the NHL are scheduled to appear in Phoenix court Tuesday to address whether relocation will be allowed.

---John Vogl

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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 | jvogl@buffnews.com

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 | mharrington@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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