Tuesday afternoon was the deadline for prospective buyers to submit their “indication of interest” for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and, according to the Buffalo News, Sabres owner Terry Pegula officially threw his hat into the ring.
Pegula, who made his fortune in the natural gas industry, purchased the Sabres in February 2011 and was immediately lauded for his spend-happy ways. Buffalo made huge splashes in his first free agent period as owner, inking Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino for a combined $67 million (Pegula would later sign off on compliance buyouts for both players.)
The 63-year-old’s foray into the sporting world wasn’t limited to just the NHL, however. A Penn State alumnus, Pegula donated $100 million to construct an on-campus facility — the Pegula Ice Arena — which opened in 2013 and currently houses the Nittany Lions’ hockey team.
As for Pegula’s interest in the Bills, here’s how the remainder of the process will play out, per USA Today:
The Bills’ trust will analyze the field and select a certain number of those initial bids. Those groups, or bidders, will then be able to gain access to more information about the team and move forward in the process.
Sports business expert and analyst Marc Ganis of the Chicago-based firm, Sportscorp, says this is a process which allows for the Bills to gain more access to the bidders’ financials as well. He says at the end of the day, the Trust will make their decision based on who is the “best top bid”.
“You will typically whittle the groups down to those that you think are the most serious, have the greatest ability and are going to pay the highest the highest price. And that last is really important.”
The Bills fanchise is for sale following the death in March of owner Ralph Wilson. It’s believed real estate mogul Donald Trump and musician Jon Bon Jovi have spearheaded groups that also put forth bids.
If the Buffalo Sabres can sign Jimmy Vesey, they may be more willing to trade winger Evander Kane.
That’s what TSN 1040 (Vancouver) radio host Matt Sekeres has been hearing, and what he’s hearing does make a lot of sense.
Kane, whose off-ice issues are once again making headlines, has two years left on his contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent. He plays the same position as Vesey, 23, who’s currently Buffalo property but can sign with any team he chooses on Aug. 15.
Even if the Sabres can’t convince Vesey to join them, Kane could still be traded. GM Tim Murray has already conceded that his patience is wearing thin with the 24-year-old that he acquired from Winnipeg not long ago. Alex Nylander, drafted eighth overall in June, plays the same position as Kane, and Murray has said it’s possible the teenager could make the jump to the NHL next season.
Buffalo, Boston and Toronto have generally been considered the favorites to land Vesey. Chicago and Pittsburgh have also been mentioned.
Related: Cue the Kane-to-Vancouver speculation
The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t require arbitration with forward Peter Holland. They’ve signed the 25-year-old to a one-year deal worth a reported $1.3 million.
Holland had a hearing scheduled for today. Last week, the Leafs sent a message by putting him on waivers, which he cleared.
Holland had nine goals and 18 assists in 65 games last season. With him signed, the Leafs have only defensemen Frank Corrado and Martin Marincin as restricted free agents. Corrado has an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow; Marincin’s is next Tuesday.
Related: Corrado and Leafs aren’t that far apart
This is an important week in the Detroit Red Wings’ offseason, with Petr Mrazek‘s arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday and Danny DeKeyser‘s for Thursday.
GM Ken Holland would prefer to avoid the hearings, which can sometimes result in hurt feelings.
“I think a negotiated settlement is always better than having an arbitrated settlement,” Holland told MLive.com. “Obviously, both sides run (the risk) of somebody’s not going to be happy.”
That being said, in Mrazek’s case, the two sides still have a ways to go. Remember that the 24-year-old netminder was excellent for most of 2015-16, but in Holland’s words, “the wheels came off a little bit in the middle of February.”
Hence, the divide:
DeKeyser, meanwhile, is more of a proven NHL commodity. He’s had three full seasons in the league. In the 26-year-old defenseman, the Red Wings pretty much know what they’ve got.
“There’s way more comparables, I think, in Dan DeKeyser‘s case so it was easier to figure out what was the market place,” said Holland. “That’s certainly not the case of Petr Mrazek’s situation.”
Holland’s work will not be finished once Mrazek and DeKeyser are signed. He still wants to add another defenseman, and he’s got a surplus of forwards to work with.
Related: Holland makes argument to keep Jimmy Howard
The Flyers won’t require today’s scheduled arbitration hearing with Brayden Schenn. They’ve agreed to terms with the 24-year-old forward on a four-year contract with a reported cap hit of $5.125 million.
Schenn had a career-high 26 goals and 33 assists in 2015-16. His 59 points were the third most on the Flyers, behind only Claude Giroux‘s 67 and Wayne Simmonds‘ 60.
The Schenn signing leaves the Flyers with just over $1 million in cap space for 2016-17, but no major free agents remaining. RFA defenseman Brandon Manning still needs a contract, but that’s it, per General Fanager. Manning has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 2.
Related: Coyotes sign Luke Schenn