Terry Pegula walked into HSBC Arena on Thursday, and he saw the ice melting and being broken up by trucks with plows. The Sabres' owner was officially agitated that his team was done for the season instead of playing in the second round of the NHL playoffs.
"It sort of ticked me off watching the ice being taken out," Pegula said today during a season-ending news conference with team President Ted Black, General Manager Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff. "As you all know, we’ve been eliminated from the playoffs. The four guys you’re looking at up here aren’t real happy about that, but life goes on."
For one of them, the coaching goes on. Ruff has signed a multiyear extension to remain behind the bench, a job he has had since 1997.
"I’m extremely excited," Ruff said. "Our goal is to win the Cup, and I think we can win the Cup."
The Sabres' brass believes the team is closer to the Stanley Cup. Black believes Buffalo will become a destination for quality players, and his dream of "Hockey Heaven" will be fulfilled.
"We've gone a long way to accomplishing that," Black said. "That's the Pegula way. They treat people like family, and I think that we're going to be on the short list -- we being Buffalo and the Buffalo Sabres -- we're going to be on the short list of a lot of free agents and players that are putting together their no-trade lists. We're going to be the exception on no-trade lists. They're going to want to come here."