Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey says that HarborCenter represents the future of the sport he oversees. “This is going to become a mecca of sorts,” Ogrean said during a recent visit to Buffalo. “I don’t even think they know yet everything that they might do. But the potential is enormous.”
Having three NHL-sized rinks linked together, along with a training center, leads Ogrean to call HarborCenter a first-of-its-kind U.S. hockey facility, and has prompted him to strengthen USA Hockey’s ties with the Sabres.
The NHL has also taken notice.
Last month, Commissioner Gary Bettman told The Associated Press that, because of HarborCenter, the league is seriously considering the Sabres’ pitch to relocate the NHL’s annual pre-draft scouting combine from Toronto to Buffalo.
“Listen, it’s an extraordinary investment in both Buffalo and hockey,” said Bettman. “We have been extraordinarily fortunate to have Terry Pegula come in because, not only is he investing in the Sabres, he’s investing in hockey, and he’s investing in the community with HarborCenter.”
Across center ice in Joe Louis Arena in Detroit reads: Hockeytown. Buffalo, on the other hand, is letting its development and momentum turn into a reputation that speaks for itself.