Call it the Pegula bump.
The Buffalo Sabres needed a little extra something to snap them out of their slumber and get them over the hump this year – to become a playoff contender once more. Enter new ownership, and the Blue and Gold have indeed gone from playoff sleeper to playoff contender. Of course, it takes a bit more than just sprucing up the locker room. Sometimes, it takes a little calculated risk.
Darcy Reiger took $4 million his newfound Pegula Bucks straight to trade deadline day and spent them on a sniper who was in the middle of a career slump.
That’s a risk the Sabres never would have been allowed to take under the tight budget of the Golisano ownership era. Pegula arrived in Buffalo just in time to make the deal possible.
Brad Boyes must feel like the luckiest darn guy on the planet.
Since arriving in town with that heavy slump on his back, Boyes has 6 points in 6 games. Tonight he just scored the overtime winner that sent the Sabres into 7th place in the Eastern Conference. He did it against a Boston team that traded his rights away to St. Louis in the 2006-07 season – and he did it in Boston. Hit ’em right in the bean pot.
Sweet, sweet redemption. That’s got to feel good.
Boyes is playing inspired hockey, back in front of friends and family once again, having come out of nearby Mississauga, Ontario.
He walked away from a disaster of a rebuilding project in St. Louis, and walked into a locker room that was just purchased by one of the richest men on the planet. He walked into a new atmosphere of hope, excitement, and determination to win the Stanley Cup at all costs.
He never had to feel the frustration or humbling mediocrity that swelled through the veins of the Sabres players during the Golisano ownership era. Rather, he is the newest and one of the most important members of a joyous renovation of hockey home and spirit.
Pegula invested, rather rescued Boyes from a sputtering career. Now as a member of the New Sabres, Boyes is working to push the Sabres into the playoffs and rescue Pegula’s season.
Call that the Brad Boyes bump.