Sabre Fans Excited for New Owner

February 3, 2011 Updated Feb 3, 2011 at 8:01 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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February 3, 2011 Updated Feb 3, 2011 at 8:01 PM EDT

(Buffalo, N.Y.) After weeks of speculation, Buffalo Sabre fans are breathing a sigh of relief. Pennsylvania billionaire Terry Pegula will be buying the team from Tom Golisano for a reported $189 million dollars.

As part of the purchase agreement, Pegula agreed to a stipulation which keeps the Sabres in Buffalo.

"Thrilled . . . Thrilled that they are going to stay in Buffalo," says Cheektowaga Sabres fan Timothy Dwan.

Terry Pegula and his family call themselves "Diehard Sabre Fans."

In a statement released today, Pegula said, "My wife Kim and I are hopeful that the league's approval process of our intent to purchase the franchise will move swiftly and we can begin the next era of Buffalo Sabres hockey in the very near future."

The NHL still has to formally approve the sale, but many insiders, including current owner Tom Golisano, expect it to be completed in a few weeks.

In 2003, Tom Golisano bought the Buffalo Sabres out of bankruptcy. A fact that has not been forgotten by local hockey fans.

"I think he came in at the right time and saved us," says Nan Kieffer from Hamburg

"It might not have been here {the Buffalo Sabres} if it wasn't for him. It think everybody, all of us, owe him for that," added former Buffalo Sabre Rob Ray.