Sabres President Ted Black and owner Terry Pegula have been in meetings inside First Niagara Center most of the day, "running the business of the franchise," Black said. Not once had they brought up the fact it is the one-year anniversary of taking over the club.
"I’ve spent the better part of the day with him, and I haven’t heard him say anything even remotely along those lines," Black said by phone this afternoon.
Although plenty has happened in the last 365 days -- see the story in Thursday's Buffalo News for a full recap -- it's still Day One that is most memorable for Black.
"It really starts with Terry’s speech at the opening press conference," the team president said. "I had never heard Terry speak publicly before, and I really didn’t know what he was going to say. I tried to pry some of that information out of him the night before, and I really didn’t get much out of him other than he said he had about 15 or 20 minutes of material. I thought why, that seems like a really long time.
"I was dumbfounded. Even though Gary Bettman and Bill Daly didn’t say anything, I could see certainly in Bill’s eyes – and he’s probably sat through a few of those speeches of new owners before – that they were really as enthralled as everyone else. How powerful his speech was and how sincere it was and how heartfelt it was was something that really struck me as much as anyone else."
Black says the ownership group has been pretty steady through the first year, accepting the highs and the lows as they come.
"We didn’t get too full of ourselves last year when the team went on a nice run and made the playoffs, didn’t get too high even during the highs and lows of a seven-game series," Black said. "That’s just more how Terry is wired and how I’m wired. Our goal is to win a Stanley Cup, and everything short of that is going to be a disappointment. Not until it happens will we celebrate."