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Terry Pegula Speaks About Struggling Buffalo Sabres, Cable Dispute

7:35 PM, Jan 15, 2012   |    comments
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Sabres Owner Terry Pegula

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The fans aren't happy. The players aren't happy. And it seems the owner of the Buffalo Sabres isn't entirely happy either with the team's inconsistent play, although he says there's a good explanation for it.

Channel 2's Aaron Saykin spoke with Terry Pegula Friday evening about the problems plaguing the team, their future, and the ongoing television blackout.

On and off the ice, it's been a frustrating season for the Sabres.

For starters, fans still can't watch the team on Time Warner Cable because of Time Warner's contractual dispute with MSG, the station that televises the games.

Pegula says, unfortunately, there's little the team can do.

PEGULA: I think all we can do is wait and see how they settle it. We really don't have any input into their discussions.

REPORTER: As an owner, who has a lot of money at stake, you've got a businesses out there that are partners with you, how frustrating is this?

PEGULA: Well, they know exactly how we feel. They know the numbers. They know we had good ratings, so we've got our fingers crossed that they'll get it settled.

On the ice, Pegula says the team, which had great expectations, got off to a great start., only to be decimated by injuries.

REPORTER: Given where the team is right now, do you really believe this is going to be a playoff team this year?

PEGULA: We have -- I believe we have a good hockey team. And when it gets healthy, we can make that push, I believe that. We did it last year... I like to tell people that, if they want to see frustration, be around our locker room. The guys aren't happy either. They know that the last 25 games haven't been good for us, and they're working hard to improve that.

REPORTER: Would it be fair to say we wouldn't see any kind of shake-up with the team this year or afterward?

PEGULA: What do you mean by shake up?

REPORTER: Significant changes.

PEGULA: We've got to put the team together first. Any, you know, I know that we're not going to get perfectly healthy. Very few teams are. But we're got to get close to the team that we've put together to evaluate it.

REPORTER: Where do you see this team at the end of the regular season?

PEGULA: I'd like to see us knock one of the eight that are in there now -- knock 'em out. That's got to be our goal.

REPORTER: Get in the playoffs?

PEGULA: Get in the playoffs.

As bad as they've been recently, they're still within striking distance of the playoffs.

REPORTER: Last year, as we got close to the trading deadline, you weren't afraid to go out and get somebody. Are we going to see some big moves as we get closer to the trading deadline?

PEGULA: That's hard to say. That's hard to say. We have shown in the past that we will make deals. Whether or not the deal is there, we'll have to see.

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