National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman made an appearance at HSBC Arena Thursday during the Cornell-New Hampshire semifinal, announcing the sale of the Buffalo Sabres to billionaire businessman B. Thomas Golisano.
The bankrupt Sabres have been operated by the league pending the sale, which was approved by both U.S. bankruptcy court and the league’s board of governors.
“First of all,” Bettman said, “it’s great to be at the Frozen Four, and it wasn’t my intention to announce something like this here.”
Bettman, a Cornell alumnus in town for the Frozen Four, expects the deal to close within days.
Golisano, the founder and chairman of Paychex, a payroll-processing firm, will pay $92 million for the team, including assumption of various debts.
Apart from his business ventures, Golisano is also a three-time candidate for governor of New York on the Independence party ticket.
After announcing the completion of the deal, Bettman saw his alma mater fall 3-2 to New Hampshire in the first national semifinal.