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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on March 16, 2020

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by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Under normal circumstances, we'd be recapping yesterday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes for you. However, the Buffalo Sabres' season (and essentially the entire world of sports) is currently on pause due to coronavirus.

We urge everyone to take the proper precautions and follow CDC guidelines in order to stay safe and healthy.

Here's what you need to know.


A statement from Kim Pegula

"Concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) are driving uncertainty and stress in many workplaces, and our employees are no exception. The health and wellness of our employees and our community as a whole are our number one priority. We have given considerable thought to the many different factors playing into the current situation, and Terry and I have made the following decisions:

  • Beginning on Monday, March 16, employees across all of our companies have been given the option to work from home, with some very limited exceptions. We will continue to monitor the situation and assess this policy on a weekly basis based on the unique operations of each entity. 
  • All business travel, domestic and international is currently prohibited for our employees.
  • We will continue to educate staff on the warning signs and to follow the suggestions of the CDC to provide a safe workplace. 
  • Our gameday employees at the arenas in Buffalo and Rochester will be paid for any lost wages due to regular season game cancellations. They are part of our PSE family and even though we expect that the games will be played, we want to assure them they will be paid in the event that is not the case. We are grateful for the gestures from our players, staff and the Buffalo Sabres Foundation who have all offered to step up in a time of need.

This is an extremely difficult period of time for everyone. We urge our entire community to follow the CDC guidelines and the direction of our government agencies. These uncertain times have placed a lot of stress on our employees and we want to assure them we are doing whatever we feel is necessary to provide a safe and healthy workplace. We also want to thank our fans for their patience, understanding and support."

Upcoming events canceled

The team announced on Friday that tonight's Road Crew party in Raleigh, scheduled to take place tonight, as well as Wednesday's Scotty Bowman Showcase have been canceled. 

A full refund will be automatically issued to any fan that purchased tickets for the Road Crew event.


The NHL put together this list of questions - and answers - last week:

When can we expect the season to resume?
Commissioner Bettman has said the NHL season will resume when it's "prudent and safe to start back up." 

The League is taking its guidance on the matter from local, state and federal authorities who are in constant contact with medical personnel.


Have any NHL players tested positive for COVID-19?
There are no current documented positive tests from the NHL player community, Commissioner Bettman said. Deputy Commissioner Daly said any player exhibiting symptoms should be tested. There is no need to implement mandatory testing for all players, he said.


What return-to-play options are the NHL considering?
Commissioner Bettman said the League is analyzing "every conceivable alternative," but without a timetable for when the season could resume it's hard to determine what the best course of action could be. He said he has an "internal task force" of senior NHL executives who are meeting twice daily to go over every option. The League is also in touch daily with the NHL Players' Association, with Commissioner Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr communicating regularly.


Could the season resume with games in buildings that are closed to the general public?
Commissioner Bettman said it was too early to speculate on this topic.


Will the 2020-21 NHL season be impacted if this season extends into the summer?
Commissioner Bettman said the League envisions a full and normal 2020-21 season.


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