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Bettman: Buffalo ‘vigorously pursuing’ NHL scouting combine

Jan 30, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

NHL Combine Getty Images

Could the annual NHL scouting combine be on its way out of Toronto?

From the Associated Press:

The NHL is already interested in Sabres owner Terry Pegula’s $172-million downtown Buffalo hockey/entertainment complex, even though the facility is not completed yet.

Commissioner Gary Bettman told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the league is considering the Sabres’ pitch to relocate the NHL’s annual pre-draft scouting combine from Toronto to Buffalo.

”It’s something that’s being discussed, and I know it’s something that Ted Black is vigorously pursuing,” Bettman said by phone, referring to the Sabres president. ”It’s a work in progress. We haven’t made any decisions. But we’re taking the expression of interest very seriously.”

Bettman made the revelation during an interview regarding Pegula and the facility he’s building. It’s called HarborCenter, and is currently under construction across the street from the Sabres arena.

Black confirmed the Sabres’ interest in hosting the combine, telling the AP it was “another example of the ways that we’re trying to promote Buffalo and HarborCenter as an international hockey destination.”

The Sabres have already booked a few key events — USA Hockey’ All-American Prospects Game will be played at HarborCenter for the next two seasons — and reports have surfaced about Buffalo’s interest in hosting the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championships as well.

The NHL scouting combine has grown over the years, but has always been held in Toronto. Last year, 101 of the top North American and European prospects descended on the Toronto Convention Centre for a week’s worth of interviews, fitness and endurance tests.

  1. rabidbillsfan - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    Say what you want about the team on the ice, but the off ice team is doing it’s part in making not only the Sabres brand, but the Buffalo brand a world wide commodity.

    • c9castine - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      it’ll get there

  2. billsboy88 - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    This would be a huge boost for Buffalo as a whole

  3. pmonte3122 - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    This is becoming a great hockey city

  4. overunder27 - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Let’s break this down, Buffalo: Inaugural Winter Classic host (72,000 in attendance and 11,500 more at the arena watching on the jumbotron), 2011 World Juniors Host (only the 5th US city to host it in 34 years), host of 3 of the first 4 years of the All American Prospects game, winner of the Traverse City Prospects Tourney in their first year participating, host of the 2003 NCAA Frozen Four, headquarters of the Labatt Blue USA Pond Hockey Tournament, winner of all three 2011 NHL Premiere Series games, 2007 #1 Sports Franchise in North America, home of more NHL’ers than any other county in the entire US, dominator of the US national TV and viewership figures for regular season, playoffs, finals, All-Star and Olympic hockey (3x the national average for the 2010 US vs Canada game), and home of one of the best American-born players in Patrick Kane (’07 OHL ROTY, ’07 First Overall Pick, ’08 NHL ROTY, 2-time Cup Champ (Cup clinching goal in ’10, Conn Smythe in ’13). It doesn’t matter how much it snows or how many years sail past without a championship, Buffalo is a hockey powerhouse and it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise we’re trying to get the NHL scouting combine.

    • overunder27 - Jan 31, 2014 at 9:01 PM

      As usual, a thumbs down left by a coward with no elaboration. Keep up the good work, clown.

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