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People familiar with decision tell AP: Battista stepping down as Sabres VP of hockey business @NHLdotcom

Two people familiar with the decision say Buffalo Sabres vice-president of hockey-related business Joe Battista is leaving the team.

They tell The Associated Press he wants to spend more time with his family in Pennsylvania. They spoke on condition Monday because the Sabres are not confirming the move.

The people say the decision was in the works for several months and is not related to team president Ted Black's departure last week. Black was replaced by Buffalo Bills President Russ Brandon. The Bills and Sabres are owned by Terry and Kim Pegula.

Battista is the former Penn State hockey coach and athletic department executive with long ties to the Pegulas He left Penn State to join the Sabres in 2013. His family still lives in State College.

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