Buffalo Relocation

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Breaking News: Buffalo to Relocate to Montreal
Author: Matthew Fox

Shocking news by Lake Erie this morning, as it is reported that team president and owner Neal Daniel Jr. has agreed with city officials in Montreal to move the Sabres north of the border to Canada. The news comes as a major shock to area fans, who have had a tenuous relationship with the franchise.

Over 50 trucks were seen on site in the parking lot of the stadium, along with a hoard of professional movers working feverishly to empty the contents of the office’s and the clubhouse. Speculation is that the team will be playing in the Bell Centre, which had been sitting vacant since 2013 when construction on the facility had been completed. It had been rumored that Montreal was a destination city for a PBDL team upon the inception of the league, but league minimum requirement could not be met. The league office refuses to comment on why Montreal was denied a team in the infancy of the league.

It is also rumored that there was talk of moving the team to Montreal for some time now. One team official who wished to remain anonymous stated that team GM Matthew Fox had made an inquiry sometime in the past as to what the league would require to move the team elsewhere. With ticket sales plummeting, and interest in the team at a record low, the Sabres seem to be pinning their hopes on the Canadian city 400 miles to the North. Perhaps moving the team to a much larger city(Buffalo, 400k Montreal, 2M) will aid the franchise in keeping the stadium packed with fans.

Fans around the area are outraged that this has seemingly been done in secret, behind closed doors and in the shadows. Longtime season ticket holder Pat LaFontaine had this to say, “Not in my wildest nightmares would I thought this would happen. I’ve been a season ticket holder since the teams berth. This is devastating news, just devastating. My kids are going to be even more upset. My son Dan is a big fan of Horiuchi, and little Brianna was really fond of Jones. I can’t believe they would just uproot the team in the middle of the night and leave town like a thief in the night”. The mayor of Buffalo, Dominick Hasek(who won election on the now famous “The buck stops here” campaign) stated “Dis is obviously a tremendous loss for the city and the rezidents of the city. The Sabres brought in much revenue and tourists to the area. Dere will be many businesses impacted by this. We will be searching for a team to move to Buffalo, and bring PBDL baseball back to the city.” Rob Ray, who owns the popular bar “Sucker Punch” stated “I don’t know how I’m going to cope with this. Last year my sales were down 15%, and that was with the team here, and playing in Gold. Why will people show up now? My bar was tied in directly to the Sabres. The Sabres games are what attracted over 65% of my business. I guess it’s time to give John Taffer a call.”

The team has been rumored to be calling themselves “Canadians”. This seems like a rather unimaginative and mundane nickname for a baseball team hailing from Canada. “Canadians...Canadians? I cant STAND Canadians!” voiced LaFontaine, who was still irate. Evidently LaFontaine isn’t fond of the new nickname the franchise has selected while playing in the city of Montreal. Rob Ray had this to say, “I’ll tell you guys what. I’ve got a few haymakers for those Canadians. They’ll have trouble standing after one or two of those...”. It’s unknown if Ray was talking about his famous drink, which contains Bacardi 151, Everclear, Vodka, and Jose Cuervo, or his infamous right hook which has landed him in trouble with local police.

The unfortunate move brings fifteen years of PBDL baseball in Buffalo to a close. The team had a record over that stretch of 676-671. According to the popular Pythagorean Theorem, the clubs record should have been 710-637, a difference of 34 games. They are the only franchise in PBDL to have an ERA under 4 over those 15 years. But that benchmark hasn’t been much of a help to the club for winning games, as the near .500 record, and -34 pyth. Record suggests. The Sabres don’t have any retired numbers, but it would appear as a virtual certainty that Lurte will be the first to be honored. His #11 will be retired in Montreal blue and red, instead of Buffalo blue and yellow. Fan favorite Lurte commented, “Of course this is shocking and upsetting. I loved my time here in the city of Buffalo and I loved the fans. They have always treated me and my family well. Buffalo has been very, very good to me.”

The final tally in Buffalo reads like this. 15 years in PBDL, 4 Championships won (1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze), 9 times a playoff qualifier, and zero first place finishes. Only time will tell if in another 15 years, the franchise will fare as well in Montreal as they had in Buffalo.