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Report: Announcement of Buffalo Sabres sale to Terry Pegula will be made Thursday

Jan 31, 2011, 4:33 PM EDT

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B. Thomas Golisano AP

Various sources including WGR 550 report that the Buffalo Sabres will officially announce the team’s sale to Terry Pegula on Thursday after months of speculation. Pegula will be responsible for $175 million for the team along with $14 million in assumed liabilities, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and other executives have spoken highly of Pegula, praising his “passion for the game” while also pointing out the fact that he has the resources (aka money) to support a professional hockey team.

Pat Malacaro of WGR 550 notes that this isn’t technically the final step of the process, though. The NHL Board of Governors must approve the sale after both sides sign the agreement. That being said, it seems like Pegula is receiving rave reviews from prominent people in the league, so that might be a formality.

Then again, NHL ownership situations can go from normal to crazy quickly enough to turn The Incredible Hulk green, so we won’t count any chickens just yet. We’ll let you know if anything changes. If not, we’ll pass along the news once Pegula actually becomes the new owner of the Sabres.

That process might take about a month, meaning the team might have need to take some leaps of faith around trade deadline time.

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