Lewis Staats was just on WHTK 1280 with John DiTullio and shared a few more details about the sale to the Sabres, the most interesting being that the Sabres initiated the talks asking if the Amerks were for sale.
As we’re all aware, there were a number of things involved that had to be taken care of for the sale of the Amerks franchise. There’s a lot more than just a piece of paper saying the players would come here.
Going back to the start of the 2010/2011 season, the Amerks informed the Florida Panthers that they would not be renewing the current affiliation agreement that was in place. There’s obvious reasons the Panthers era needed to end, I’ll leave it at that.
It was a no brainer that the Amerks would want to speak with the Buffalo Sabres about a new affiliation but one of the road blocks for the Amerks at that time was that the Buffalo Sabres had just announced an extension with the Portland Pirates which prevented them from talking.
We all know that the majority of hockey fans in the City of Rochester were always telling Curt Styres and Lewis Staats that they wanted the Buffalo Sabres back as an affiliate. They knew that was something they wanted as well and that it would be the best option whether it was a sale of the Amerks or just an affiliation.
This was all initiated from Buffalo at some point when they reached out to Lewis Staats and asked if they were interested in selling the team. After a few days Curt got in touch with Pegula’s group and it was only a matter of working out the details.
As mentioned above, Curt Styres would have preferred just an affiliation and not a sale of the franchise but it was clear that wasn’t going to happen.
One of the things that held up the sale was that the Sabres had to terminate there affiliate with Portland and part of that was that Portland had to get a new NHL partner first. There’s no word on who that is at this time but that road block was overcome.
The current lease between the Rochester Americans and City of Rochester has two more years and will just transfer as is to the Buffalo Sabres. Do the Sabres have interest in taking over Blue Cross Arena? We have to imagine they do.
When Curt Styres bought the Amerks three years ago he was handed a pretty bad situation. One of the great things about the Styres era was that they took the situation they were dealt and didn’t moan or complain about it, they just met the challenge head on and made the best of it all and also made great strides.
Even though the Amerks for the most part stunk on the ice they improved the image of the Rochester Americans front office in the community and made it a place people were proud to work at. They also put a value on buying a ticket to the Rochester Americans, the previous years were all about free tickets.
Terry Pegula has to be thankful for the hard work that the Amerks did by putting a value back on the ticket and also starting the business club in Rochester. Staats said that the last meeting had 115 businesses at the event, when it started a year ago they had half a dozen. They engaged the corporate sector which also engaged the fans. Take all of that and add in the Buffalo Sabres instead of Florida Panthers and there’s even more excitement.
Curt Styres has made over $150,000 in charitable donations in Rochester, something many may not be aware of. A post with more about that will be on its way.
As for the Knighthawks lacrosse team, they’re still in discussions with the City of Rochester over a new lease.