Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Sabres' Future with the Amerks

It seems like an odd title but there are some rumblings about a renewed interest with the Sabres and Amerks. It starts with the Knighthawks owing $27,000 in back taxes to the state. The Knighthawks are part of the deal with the Amerks. The next deal comes with the Rhinos and the city of Rochester seizing PAETEC Park due to the default of the loans on the stadium. This leads us to probably the most hated man in Rochester sports right now, Steve Donner. Donner has a 40% ownership in the Amerks and also has an ownership in the Rhinos. Because NBT bank wants its money from the Rhinos, they have sued the three major owners in the Rhinos, including Donner. This has a huge implication towards the Amerks and the Knighthawks which again Donner is majority owner of. There has been speculation that Tommy G., the same person who came in and swooped the Sabres out of bankruptcy, may come in a swoop up the Amerks and Knighthawks.

Isnt it interesting that the Sabres have yet to announce anything toward their next affiliation. It was announced in November that the Sabres were officially done with Donner and the Amerks and they were going to move on. Speculation at that time was the team was going to affiliate with the Portland Pirates, who are currently the farm team of the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks were not happy with the Pirates because of the distance that their callups had to travel to get to the main team. They were reportedly looking for something closer. That was November, this is now. Nothing has been said about the affiliation since then.

Do I see Golisano picking up the Amerks and running them alongside the Sabres. I'm not sure. I do know one thing though, if he does do that the Knighthawks would have to be a seperate entity in the deal. There would need to be a new owner in the K-hawks due to a conflict of interest with the Bandits. Golisano is a local Rochester boy but I dont think that he has ever expressed interest in running that team due to the financial mess that the Amerks are now. There is another wrinkle in this story that came out today. It was assumed that the Florida Panthers, current joint affiliator with the Sabres, would take over the affiliation full time and what not. But this article in the Democrat and Chronicle suggests otherwise. The Panthers are having concerns with the same issues that the Sabres were having with Rochester, including the late payment of affiliation fees.

Most of this is speculation I know, I'm not claiming otherwise. But there is one thing I know. This is a friggin mess.

No comments:

Post a Comment