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No Sabres Season This Year

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – There will be no hockey in Buffalo this season. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season Wednesday.

The players' association did not accept the final salary cap offered by the league. Here at home, Sabres Managing Partner Larry Quinn says the NHL needs to improve the economics of the game.

Improving the way the National Hockey League conducts business -- that's a repeated theme we hear as Erie County faces a massive financial crisis. Sabres Larry Quinn compares the region's financial troubles to the league's efforts to become leaner.

"We're all living through this in Erie County and in Buffalo," Quinn said. "The problems we're facing in our governments were so predictable. But yet we hit the rocks."

Quinn says despite the labor dispute, hockey, too, can improve financially in the long run. But learning that the season was canceled was still a blow to the Sabres organization.

"It's a very dark day. I believe that at some point along this way, it will turn into something positive," Quinn said. "But right now, it's a period of mourning. I feel bad about what's happened here and what's happened to all the people who depend on the Buffalo Sabres for their livelihoods."

Quinn says the Buffalo Sabres lost about $7 million by not playing this season.

The NHL has become the first major professional league in North America to lose an entire season due to a labor dispute. And this will be the first time the Stanley Cup won't be awarded since 1919 when a flu epidemic stopped the finals.