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Hamister Named New Owner of Sabres

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – The National Hockey League says it has accepted the bid of local businessman Mark Hamister to purchase the Buffalo Sabres.

National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman said after narrowing the bidding process, it was determined that terms of Hamister's bid should be accepted.

Bettman said they will work with Hamister to conclude the transaction as quickly as possible.

Hamister will hold a news conference Thursday afternoon.

In a statement, Hamister said he is proud that his group was selected to purchase the team.

Bettman said Adelphia Communications was involved throughout the selection process.

Former Adelphia Chief Executive Officer John Rigas remains the team owner, but only by title.

He stepped aside last June and faces criminal charges for stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from Adelphia.

NHL officials said they hope to close the deal by the first quarter of 2003.