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Buffalo enriches staff through Sabres University

Nov 16, 2012, 9:36 PM EDT

Ted Black AP

Unlike other franchises, the Buffalo Sabres haven’t fired or reduced the pay of any staff member as a result of the ongoing lockout. Instead, they’ve opened up Sabres University.

Sabres president Ted Black came up with the idea of using the extra time that the lockout has provided to educated their employees in over 30 areas of team operation, based on an ESPN report.

Buffalo is hosting lessons twice a week on subjects that include scouting, public speaking, fitness and diet, and coaching strategy.

It’s given employees a chance to learn more about every aspect of the game of hockey while also providing members of the organization with a chance to shine by teaching their co-workers about what they do for a living.

“It was really gratifying to see them empowered that way,” Black said, referring to the staff members who make the ice. That class in particular proved popular.

Some of the courses are mandatory and one example of that is the history of the Sabres. In certain cases, Black has also encouraged departments to take some of the classes. For example, he wanted the website and broadcasting personnel to participate in the scouting class to see if they could make use of the team’s scouting videos.

In the end, the employees should have a richer and broader understanding of the sport as a result of Sabres University, and that could give them an edge when this lockout finally concludes.

  1. rycoem - Nov 16, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Slowly but surely, the Sabres are becoming a world-class organization under the Pegula ownership. They will be the envy of the NHL in time (assuming they ever play hockey again)…

    • florida76 - Nov 17, 2012 at 1:13 AM

      Hold on rycoem. The Sabres have a long way to go before becoming an elite franchise. They currently hold one of the longest streaks in sports for being around for several decades without winning it all. If, and that’s a big if, Buffalo can finally win a Cup, they’ll still trail other franchises who have won multiple Cups and featured superstar players. Right now, the Sabres must be considered among the lower achieving NHL franchises, along with teams like the Canucks, Caps, Blues, etc.

      Even a franchise like Tampa, which started roughly a couple decades after the Sabres, still found a way to win a Cup.

      • travishenryskid - Nov 17, 2012 at 1:38 PM

        Teams like Tampa are the reason why don’t have hockey right now. Quit tooting your own horn.

      • travishenryskid - Nov 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM

        Also, great ownership can make a franchise world class in a hurry. If you follow soccer at all, Manchester City was a laughing stock for years. An owner who wanted to have a world class team stepped in, and in a matter of no time Man City is a top club in European football. It is a longer road in hockey because of salary cap, but they are headed in the right direction quickly. The only people who don’t know that haven’t been paying attention. It all starts at the top, and Pegula is a dream of an owner. Very, very few franchises are so lucky.

      • rycoem - Nov 17, 2012 at 2:38 PM

        I wasn’t saying they were going to eclipse the league’s elite overnight – hence the terms “slowly but surely” and “in time”. My point was well stated by travishenryskid – everything starts with ownership (as Bills fans we also know the downside of that statement). Pegula will get this franchise to the top and, more importantly, well-positioned to stay there. He really is that special of an owner. You read it here first :)

  2. billsin20xx - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    This stupid lockout has to be killing Pegula. I am not sure how many other owners are as big of fans of hockey as he is.
    He is a true fan first, then an owner.

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