2014/2015 Buffalo Sabres ticket preview
The Buffalo Sabres aren’t among the NHL’s elite teams. In fact, they’re quite the opposite. The Sabres spent nearly the entire 2013-14 season sliding down the Atlantic Division standings, and the Eastern Conference standings, and the league-wide standings, eventually finishing with a 21-51-10 record and 52 points for their efforts.
However, all is not lost in Buffalo. There is plenty of young talent on the roster and a prevailing desire to turn things around quickly. A new coach, plenty of salary cap space, and a devoted fan base in upstate New York all qualify as positives for the Sabres. So at least they’ve got those things going for them. With all of that in mind, here are a few good reasons to buy Buffalo Sabres tickets this year…
They’re getting cheaper
The average secondary market price for a single-game Sabres ticket decreased 1.33% year-over-year in 2013-14, which makes sense. The concept of supply and demand is at work in Buffalo and consumers are reaping the benefits. Unlike the Chicago Blackhawks, which saw a 57.12% increase in ticket prices over the same time span, Sabres fans aren’t seeing a price hike for their team.
No more “Buffaslug”
OK, the uniforms introduced in 2013 to replace the almost-universally panned “Buffaslug” jerseys weren’t quite the upgrade Sabres fans had in mind when they asked for a new, exciting sweater. But hey: buying Sabres tickets in 2014-15 means only having to see the second worst Buffalo jersey ever designed. Which is…something?
No really bad contracts
After cutting ties with Thomas Vanek and Ville Leino—jettisoning their onerous contracts in the process—the Sabres don’t have any players on truly crippling long-term deals. An argument can be made for Tyler Myers’s contract, but it’s nowhere near the level of Leino’s deal (which was recently bought out by the team). The organization has turned its focus toward smart deals for young talent, which has led to players like Tyler Ennis and Cody Hodgson receiving multi-year extensions.
First Niagara Center seats aren’t often empty
Buffalo averaged 18,576 fans per game during the 2013-14 season, good for 10th in the NHL in overall attendance. Those 18,576 fans filled the Sabres home venue to the tune of 97 percent capacity, meaning First Niagara seats were hot commodities despite the team’s below-average performance last season. If that trend holds true this season, you’d better plan on getting your Sabres tickets ahead of time.
2013-2014 Buffalo Sabres info
The Buffalo Sabres finished the lockout-shortened 2012-13 NHL season in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with a 21-21-6 record (48 points). Rumors during the offseason focused on a few big-name players as potential trade targets—not to mention impending free agents next year—although nothing came to fruition on the trade front over the summer. As the team prepares for the 2013-14 season, there are several storylines that make buying Sabres tickets worthwhile.
Ryan Miller is in a contract year
Miller is the Sabres starting goalie and one of the few bright spots on a team mired in what will be the beginning of a multi-season rebuild in Buffalo. When he’s on, the price of Buffalo Sabres tickets increases exponentially, and with good reason. Not only will Miller be playing for his next big contract, but he’ll also be showcasing his talents for the coaching staff in advance of the 2014 Winter Olympics, in which he’ll hope to be the starting netminder for Team USA.
Shiny new jerseys
Buffalo’s offseason-long reveal of its new third jersey was a public relations nightmare, considering the public backlash against the design, but at least buying Sabres tickets means you get to see the horror in-person if you enjoy things like mustard-colored sweaters and schadenfreude.
Thomas Vanek is in a contract year, too
Vanek is the other big-name Sabres player in a contract year. Since he’s undoubtedly looking to escape a rebuilding team, his level of play will be commensurate with what he hopes to receive on the market as a free agent next summer: likely $7 million per season on another long-term deal.
Bench-clearing brawls are a “thing” with this team
OK, they’re not as common an occurrence as they were back in the Detroit Red Wings vs. Colorado Avalanche heyday, but the preseason 12-man line brawl between the Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs provided an entertaining video clip in what was otherwise a dull exhibition contest. So there’s that.
Sabres tickets should be cheap
The hard truth is that Buffalo Sabres tickets won’t be a revenue stream goldmine for team ownership this season. The Sabres likely won’t be contending for a playoff spot, meaning most First Niagara Center tickets can be had for a relatively low cost, especially late in the season.
Buffalo Sabres tickets are going fast as the schedule ramps up with the Sabres ready for a playoff push. The Buffalo Sabres will take on the Eastern Conference’s best, including the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins and will go toe-to-toe with some of their fiercest rivals, like the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. A visit to the First Niagara Center means you’ll see all the intense battles as the Buffalo Sabres take on the best of the best in a fight for Eastern Conference playoff positioning.
The Buffalo Sabres are led by the NHL’s current leading scorer in Thomas Vanek, electrifying youngster Cody Hodgson and one of the league’s top goaltenders in Ryan Miller. Vanek stormed out of the gate this season with 12 goals and 25 points in the first 16 games and Miller became a household name, leading Team USA to a silver medal finish at the 2010 Olympic Games. That same year, Miller took home the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.
The Buffalo Sabres’ blueline is anchored by towering defenseman Tyler Myers, winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2010 as the NHL’s best rookie.
Demand for tickets will surge right along with the Buffalo Sabres’ playoff push as they look to get back to the postseason after failing to qualify a year ago.
The Buffalo Sabres were founded in 1970 and quickly became a force in the NHL with “The French Connection” of Gilbert Perrault, Rick Martin and Rene Robert. The Buffalo Sabres have twice made it as far as the Stanley Cup Final, losing in six games to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1975 and again in six games, to the Dallas Stars, in 1999.
The Buffalo Sabres have played in the First Niagara Center since 1996, when it was known as the Marine Midland Arena, after 26 seasons at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
Buy Buffalo Sabres tickets online to see Vanek, Miller and company take on the Eastern Conference’s best as they battle it out for playoff positioning down the stretch. Don’t miss out! Get your Buffalo Sabres tickets now!
Buffalo Sabres ticket and team info
If you were in the First Niagra Center formerly HSBC Arena last season for the Buffalo Sabres' playoff run, you know what a rocking place it was. There wasn't a more exciting arena for hockey than in Buffalo, New York. The city was absolutely on fire as the Sabres stampeded into the Eastern Conference Finals. This year looks to bring more of the same to a city that loves their Sabres more than anything. Specifically designed for live events, the First Niagra Center/HSBC Center was made for hockey. Located on downtown Buffalo's waterfront, the HSBC Center is the first arena to use the state-of-art Ice Projection System, which turns the ice into a gigantic movie screen. The future is now in Buffalo, and you get to see it first with Buffalo Sabres tickets!
Goaltender Ryan Miller is one of the best players on Buffalo's squad. The young goalie from Michigan State was sensational in the post-season, posting an 11-7 record as a rookie. As a Spartan, Miller took home the Hobey Baker Memorial Award for top collegiate player in 2000-01 and is showing all the signs of transferring that success into the NHL. Miller is known around the league as completely unflappable and very mature, shaking off bad goals with ease and remaining in the game until the very end.
Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff has a reputation for being blunt with the media, and the hard-nosed Buffalo fans love him for it. Ruff won the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year last, season, a well-deserved award considering it was the Sabres best season ever. The only reason fans weren't buying Buffalo Sabres tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals was due to injuries to several key players. Don't count out Ruff's Sabres this year.
Fans may have disheartened when star defenseman Jay McKee departed for St Louis, but were thrilled to learn that Jaroslav Spacek would be filling in his place. Spacek had a great run in the playoffs last year with Edmonton and he's sure to do the same for Buffalo. The blue line is now extremely deep, and will be the Buffalo Sabres' ticket to the playoffs this year. But let's not forget the offense: at 276 goals, they were third in the conference. Injuries hindered the Sabres last year, but this year with everyone healthy, there's nothing standing between Buffalo and the Stanley Cup!
Buffalo Sabres info
Buffalo Sabres tickets may be poised to provide something different in the 2005-2006 NHL season: A trip to the playoffs, and, dare we say it, a run to the Stanley Cup. The trip may not be easy, but the Sabres are regrouping after a long layoff and the cast of characters being assembled for the new season is based on some familiar faces. The Sabres avoided the free agent frenzy and are building their future with players already in house and ready to contribute. A close look provides good reason for optimism among hockey fans considering Sabres tickets and a trip to HSBC Arena.
Daniel Briere led the Sabres with 28 goals and 37 assists in the 2004 NHL season. Chris Drury added another 18 goals in 2004 and in a full season should reap bigger rewards for the Sabres. The return of Tim Connolly should also improve the Sabres play this season. Connolly, who returns after missing the 2003-2004 season with injuries, is coming off a sub-par year that saw him score only 12 goals. Better things are expected, as he returns to full health.
While the Sabres have never hoisted a Stanley Cup, they’ve been to the Stanley Cup Finals on two occasions, once in 1975 and again in 1999. The trip in ’99 was preceded by an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals, so they’re no strangers to success. In their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in ’99, the Sabres finished the regular season at 37-28-17. Following a sweep of the Ottawa Senators, the Sabres advanced to the Conference Finals after a six- game series with the Boston Bruins. It took five games to clinch a the Eastern Conference championship over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Unfortunately for the Sabres, they lost to the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals.
While Buffalo Sabres ticket holders watched the rest of the NHL jockey for position in the free agent market, the Sabres stood pat, occasionally dipping their toe into the water but rarely making waves. That approach speaks of confidence in the current roster. The HSBC Arena will provide ringside seats for Buffalo hockey fans to see for themselves why head coach Lindy Ruff thinks so highly of his squad. Whether Ruff is correct or his confidence is misplaced will be determined on the ice and by the fans that line up for Buffalo Sabres tickets.