By Mike Harrington
3 p.m. update: The Sabres did, in fact, leave for Boston and Wednesday night's game against the Bruins is on as scheduled with a 7:30 telecast on NBC Sports Network. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, the team's plan didn't change: A 3 p.m. flight today from Prior Aviation to Hanscom Field in suburban Bedford, Mass., and then a bus trip to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on the edge of Boston Common.
The hotel is about 1 1/2 miles from the blast sites on Boylston Street at the finish line of the marathon.
"It's not far from the Boston Library, Lenox Hotel," said general manager Darcy Regier, pointing out two landmarks in the city's Back Bay. "I looked at the map. We're very familiar with that area. It unfortunately casts a different light on everything."
Regier said his thoughts flashed back to a trip to training camp in South Carolina through New York City shortly after 9/11 in 2001. And to the days after the crash of Continental Flight 3407 in Clarence Center in 2009.
"You can't help but think in terms of the families that are involved and how difficlut it must be," he said. "The only thing you can do is thoughts and prayers are with them and their family. It's terrible."
"That's a huge day in Boston," said interim coach Ron Rolston, a former assistant at Boston College and Harvard who said he's watched the marathon several times. "The [11 a.m Red Sox] game lets out and you've got all those fans coming out in the street and they usually stay out to watch the race and go to the restaurants and bars. It's a scary thing."
The Bruins postponed their game against Ottawa Monday night and the Celtics' game tonight against Indiana was canceled. With the Red Sox moving on to Cleveland, the Sabres' game will be the first sporting event -- and first large public gathering -- in Boston since the blasts. Might it be too soon?
"That's a good question," Regier said. "I don't know. There's at least a couple of ways to look at it. You can either stop everything or make a statement to these types of situations that you're gonna get on with life. It won't be our decision. It will be a decision made by the people in Boston empowered to make those decisions, or even higher. So we'll have to see what that decision is but right now we're planning on going."
Click below to hear Regier's entire interview with reporters, including his thoughts on the return of Mikhail Grigorenko to Buffalo.