We have all heard the old saying money can’t buy love, but in Buffalo Terry Pegula’s money could have very well bought the Buffalo Bills and Sabres a spot in the 2016 playoffs.

Just one month ago Buffalo Sabres fans were elated that the team was finally going to draft Jack Eichel, considered a generational talent. Most who followed hockey felt Eichel’s presence meant the team would be better, but not playoff bound. Now after Tim Murray trades for Ryan O’Reilly and Robin Lehner playoffs seem to be well within reach.

Under any of their other previous ownerships the Sabres would definitely not have traded for O’Reilly and then spent a record amount of money to sign him for seven years. Not to mention the salary the team already picked up when trading forĀ  Evander Kane.

The Buffalo Bills have also greatly benefited from Pegula’s bank account with the hiring of Rex Ryan and signing of LeSean McCoy and others. The Bills went from being an improved team in 2015 to a solid playoff contender in 2016 thanks to ownership upping the ante.

Ralph Wilson, in my opinion, got a bad rapĀ  for being cheap. The reality is Wilson spent plenty of money over his final fifteen years if his football brain trust asked for it.

Remember in 2007 when then Bills General Manager Marv Levy signed guard Derrick Docker, tackle Langston Walker, and journeyman lineman Jason Whittle on the first day of free agency? Dockery’s contract alone was worth $49 million and included $18.5 million in guaranteed money.

Yet, with Terry Pegula everything is on another scale. Pegula has billions and and as he showed with his purchase of the Bills, he’s not afraid to spend it to get what he wants.

Ralph Wilson, the Knox brothers, John Rigas and Tom Golisano all were considered wealthy men, but they never used their wealth like Pegula.

The Knox brothers will always be remembered for bringing the NHL to Buffalo and Wilson the NFL. John Rigas saved the Sabres in 1998 and then Tom Golisano did it again in 2003. All of the above have their place in Buffalo sports history, but Pegula trumps them all.

There is a stark difference between how Pegula uses his financial assests and the previous ownership groups. Wilson, Knox, Rigas and Golisano all treated their sports teams as a business that needed to make money, not Pegula. The bottom line seems to be about success, not cash.

Granted, Pegula’s money has not helped his hockey team in the win column up till now, but that’s a column for another day. We will all soon find out whether Pegula’s latest spending spree does bring the success he and fans have hoped for all these many decades.

Filed under: Koshinski's Korner

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