Terry Pegula Becomes New Buffalo Sabres Owner

12:40 AM, Feb 24, 2011   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Terry Pegula took over as Buffalo Sabres owner Tuesday, becoming the fourth owner in franchise history.

A news conference to officially introduce the Pennsylvania billionaire came after months of speculation and behind the scenes work.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman introduced Pegula by saying "this is a dream come true for him."

Pegula took the podium and thanked Tom Golisano, Larry Quinn and Dan DiPofi "for rescuing my hockey team, the Buffalo Sabres."

"Starting today, the Buffalo Sabres reason for existence is to win Stanley Cups," Pegula told the audience as he become emotional.

Pegula also promised to invest in the team.

"There will be no financial mandates on the Buffalo Sabres hockey department." Pegula said.

The NHL trade deadline is on Monday. Pegula said "if we can make a move and enhance our ability to make the playoffs... maybe we will do something."

Pegula announced that Ken Sawyer will serve as an advisor and Ted Black will serve as the team president and alternate governor.

Pegula will keep Darcy Regier as Sabres GM and  hopes to retain Lindy Ruff as head coach.

"I am a Lindy Ruff fan... he ain't goin nowhere," Pegula said. "I have had several people of authority say to me if you are getting rid of Lindy Ruff, talk to us first."

Lindy Ruff's contract with the Sabres expires at the end of the season.

"I want to run the team to win the Stanley Cup, if I want to make money, I will go run a gas mill," said Pegula. "I plan on keeping the team for a while."

Pegula told reporters he has not had a chance to look at season ticket prices but said he has no plans to raise them.

Pegula reportedly purchased the team for $189 million. The NHL Board of Governors gave the sale the green light Friday. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in town for the transfer of ownership.

Pegula made his fortune in the natural gas industry and now Sabres fans hope he can bring a Stanley Cup to Western New York. He was spotted walking into HSBC arena Monday during practice. We caught up with some of the players in the locker room. They also seemed excited to see what new ownership could bring.

2 On Your Side sports director Ed Kilgore will host a web chat at 2 p.m. to answer any of your questions.

Follow WGRZSports on Twitter for updates all morning.

WGRZ

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