Sabres President Ted Black joined the WGR Morning show for his weekly segment on Thursday and touched on a number of issues including the upcoming trade deadline, Buffalo’s hopes of landing an All Star Game in the not too distant future and an update on the dispute between Time Warner and MSG.
With the trade deadline less than four weeks away, Black was asked if the current three game points streak and improved play would alter what they’re thinking as far as deals are concerned. “I don’t think it impacts it that much” Black said. “Our goal is to see what we can do to make our team better and if we have an opportunity to do it without sacrificing a long term goal of winning a championship, that philosophy remains.” Black added “I think there’s a real opportunity here to pick up pieces that help us in years beyond.”
As a follow up to that response, Black was asked if that means the Sabres will be more of a buyer than a seller. “What we won’t do is just go all in right now like you see a lot of teams do” Black responded. “Its not a model we want to follow that we sacrifice for a short term risk. If there’s an opportunity to make this team better for the years beyond, Darcy will do that.”
The Sabres President said this season reminds him of the 2005-06 campaign with the Pittsburgh Penguins when Black was serving as their team President. Sidney Crosby was coming in and Mario Lemieux was still playing. Pittsburgh brought in John Leclair, Ziggy Palffy and Sergei Gonchar during the off season and expectations were very high. Lemieux was limited to about 20 games, Palffy was injured early and Gonchar had an off year and those lofty expectations were not achieved that season.
Having just come back from the All Star Game in Ottawa, Black said the Sabres have let the NHL know they are interested in hosting any and all events that are available including the Entry Draft and another Winter Classic. The next All Star Game that is available is probably 2015 because next year’s game has been awarded to Columbus and the 2014 affair would be scrapped if the NHL participates in the Olympic Games. Black said hosting the draft might be the easiest avenue to pursue at this point but he added there is less competition for the All Star Game than the Winter Classic because a number of cities have full buildings due to NBA clubs and concerts.
As to the MSG-Time Warner dispute, sadly he had nothing new to report. A Time Warner Cable customer himself, Black said he’s infuriated by the fact the two sides can’t even sit down at the same table and talk these days.