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Lockout on Minds of Sabres Legends Preparing for Charity Game

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – There was some action on the ice at HSBC Arena Tuesday despite the ongoing NHL lockout. Sabres alumni are preparing for a celebrity game to be held Saturday, December 4th.

There was actually the sound of pucks slamming off the boards at the hockey arena Tuesday. On the ice, the line-up included several famous Sabres from the 70s. They're preparing for the Sabres Alumni NHL Celebrity All Stars Game that will benefit Women and Children's Hospital. And as the labor dispute between players and the NHL continues, the celebrity game could be some of the biggest action for Sabres fan so far this year.

Former Sabre Danny Gare says the labor dispute is unfortunate as the league tries to seek a player salary cap. But Gare says he understands why the NHL is trying to control its costs.

"I know as a player it is difficult to take a decrease in pay. But I look at it as two sides to every story," Gare said. "When players are losing money, and I think some of the owners have a little more than some of those players, I don't know how long those players can sit out."

Sabres Managing Partner Larry Quinn says economically the team is actually losing a little less money then it did last year. But he says the lockout is not making the financial situation any better. The Sabres lost between $7 and $8 million last year in revenues.

"We are not in this for big profits. I think Tom Golisano has been pretty clear that he wants to get a situation where we will break even," Quinn said. "This financial loss from last year was an investment he made in team and community. If we can get to a point where we are on balance and can compete with other teams on a fair basis, we will be happy."

Quinn says he can't predict if there will be a Sabres season. He says he can only remain optimistic. So for now the organization is gearing up for the alumni celebratory game that will also feature hockey great Pat LaFontaine. Proceeds from the celebrity match up will help build a game room -- known as the Lion's Den at Children's hospital.