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Preliminary Verbal Agreement to Buy Sabres

By Kate Fisher

Buffalo, NY – A published report says the NHL has given verbal approval to Rochester businessman Thomas Golisano's offer to purchase the Buffalo Sabres. League officials are not officially commenting. But Friday's Buffalo News says Golisano and the NHL have reached a preliminary agreement, though a written contract is still in the works.

Senator Byron Brown, D-Buffalo, was one of the first politicians to back Golisano when it appeared Mark Hamister's bid was falling apart.

"When it looked like it (Hamister's bid) was not going to work out and Mr. Golisano was still saying listen, I am here, I am ready, I am willing and able to purchase this team, I just thought that it made sense to take a look at him as well, to be open to him as well." Brown said. "I encourage other people in the community to do so."

Brown said the remaining sticking point in the negotiations with the league is who will pay the remainder of a loan used to build HSBC Arena. Once that is worked out, Brown said the Golisano deal should be closed within seven to ten days.