Sabres bid for rink that would house Canisius

The Buffalo Sabres have officially bid on land downtown that they would use for a multi-rink hockey complex that would serve as the future home of the Canisius hockey program.

The Webster Block is highlighted in orange. It’s currently a parking lot across from the FN Center.

The Sabres were in talks with Canisius last summer about the possibility of building a rink on the Main Street campus that would double as a Sabres practice facility. Those talks stalled last fall and didn’t pick back up.

According to a report from Buffalo Business First, the Sabres are one of three groups to bid on the Webster Block, a piece of land across from the First Niagara Center nearly two acres large. The report says the property would be “used as a practice facility for the team as well as the home base for some of the area’s collegiate hockey teams.”

Canisius officials said today the school is still working with the Sabres and the college team mentioned is “definitely still us.”

The term is plural in the Business First report — “area’s collegiate hockey teams” — because ECC is also involved in talks to have its team use the rink as its home facility. The Kats currently play at Cheektowaga Recreation Center while the Griffs rent ice from Buffalo State.

The Webster Block is currently a parking lot next to the Special Events subway stop. The rink would be accessible by the train.

A development team led by Mayor Byron Brown is looking over all three bids and is expected to award the development rights later in the summer, according to Business First. Construction must start by next year.

Canisius’ basketball team has landed two local recruits for the 2013-14 season, The Buffalo News’ Keith McShea reports.

Canisius High School’s 6-foot-4 Paul Wier verbally committed to the team while Niagara Falls’ Jermaine Crumpton recommitted to be a Griff. Crumpton was a verbal under Tom Parrotta before he was let go in March. He gave a verbal to play for new coach Jim Baron last week.

The school has paperwork from Jermaine Johnson and is set to announce his signing in the near future. The athletic department hasn’t seen any papers yet from Tyrel Edwards, who is JUCO transfer reported to be coming to Canisius with three years of eligibility remaining. One blog seems to be high on Edwards’ chances.

Also noteworthy: Jim Baron’s son, Billy, is leaving Rhode Island. Jim originally said his son would not be coming to play at Canisius, but Billy also gave his word to stay at URI and that didn’t work out, which drew some criticism from a Providence columnist. (Update: try this link)

Billy told CBS: “My dad has some really good players over there and obviously I’d still like to play for him. I’m not sure what I want to do yet.”

Billy was in Buffalo last weekend for Father’s Day.

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  1. Pingback: Sabres and Canisius ready to make partnership official | It's Always Game Seven

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