Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo’

Steve Donner Interview – Part IV

January 16, 2015 - By
Steve Donner Interview – Part IV

In today’s AHL, it’s getting harder and harder to achieve the string of successful seasons that we orchestrated here, and I’d like to think that that strengthens the legacy of what we accomplished.”

 LGA:  It seems unfair that your legacy is what happened at the end vs. bringing a Cup here and having several successful seasons generated in your vision.  What do you say about that?

Donner:  “True Amerk fans know my accomplishments.  In today’s AHL, it’s getting harder and harder to achieve the string of successful seasons that we orchestrated here, and I’d like to think that that strengthens the legacy of what we accomplished.  Curt would ask me how I did it for all those years.  And I would never trade it for anything.  The negative stuff … that’s just public life.  The media does what it wants to.”

LGA:  Do you think there is a place for you in the Amerk Hall of Fame?

Donner:  “I hope so.  We had the best winning percentage in the AHL over that first 10 year period.  We won the franchise’s last Calder Cup and had 2 other final appearances.  I’m very proud of it (his ownership tenure).  It’s the [...]Read More

Steve Donner Interview – Part III

January 14, 2015 - By
Steve Donner Interview – Part III

“We weren’t asking for handouts – we just wanted to keep some of our own revenue that we were generating.”

 

LGA:  On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being extremely difficult and 10 being extremely easy) how was the city of Rochester to work with regards to the War Memorial lease?

Donner:  “A rating is tough.  Maybe a 3-4 … overall.  Johnson was better to work with.  His administration was more like a 5-7.  Also the County Executive at the time was good to work with – Jack Doyle.  After Johnson, an extraordinarily hard line was taken. There were a lot of politics going on behind the scenes.  They weren’t going to not appease the only billionaire in town.  The only way to keep up was a better lease.  The city said no.   If you look around, how do you think Utica got a team back?  Binghamton…they got a sweet heart of lease.  Those communities want their team.  You know, we weren’t asking for handouts – we just wanted to keep some of our own revenue that we were generating.”

“In the beginning, profits were invested 100% back into the team.  Because….pride in the city and to win championships.  Even [...]Read More

Steve Donner Interview – Part II

January 13, 2015 - By
Steve Donner Interview – Part II

“I wanted to make Rochester proud”

LGA: What do you miss the most about owning the Amerks?
Donner: “The People! I miss the fans the most – their happiness after a win. The joy of watching the clock count down on a game day. I was a fan first, so being able to do that in my home town – well – it was a passion more than a job. I wanted to make Rochester proud. I gave it all I had. I hate to see the franchise struggle. I really did give it everything I had. In the first 10 years of my ownership we had the best winning percentage in the AHL”

LGA: Who were some of your favorite players during your tenure as owner?
Donner: “Frawls, Metter, Sharky….Dane Jackson. Sharky (Craig Charron) was my first signing…EVER. Very proud that I gave him a chance when no one else would – and look what he accomplished here! And also a great community guy. Jody of course, too. Became a great GM…for TWO teams. The guys you win with always remain special, of course. Still talk with Torts and Boxie now.”
This segued into a great [...]Read More

Steve Donner Interview – Part I (Intro)

January 12, 2015 - By
Steve Donner Interview – Part I (Intro)

“They were the love of my life.”

In 1994, the Buffalo Sabres needed to divest money losing entities like the Rochester Americans – to be scuttled or sold – in order to finance and build the Marine Midland Arena, now known as the First Niagara Center.

Steve Donner had already made it known to close friend and former boss Seymour Knox as well as Gerry Meehan that owning the Amerks would be a dream come true. While he enjoyed his time as VP with the Tampa Bay Lightning, his wife missed WNY and he really had a strong desire to test his own philosophies on a franchise he owned. While a deal was going to take a little time, Donner took a chance and returned to Rochester to be President of the Amerks (with an option to buy) where he worked as marketing director in the early 80’s. So on a Wednesday night, watching a lackluster performance in front of a nearly-empty arena, then-Sabres President, Doug Moss said, “Are you SURE you want to buy this team?

With that, the Cinderella story of the 1995-1996 Calder Cup Championship team was born, and the growing development-only philosophy of the previous 2 [...]Read More

Does Buffalo care about winning in Rochester?

December 9, 2012 - By

-Written by Jason Bonno

Buffalo Sabres management is failing the Rochester Americans. The season, which arrived amidst much hoopla with the NHL lockout, is starting to come off the rails by the middle of December, with apparently no help in sight. To the contrary, the positive is just that, it’s only the middle of December and there are 55 games remaining. However, one has to wonder if Sabres GM Darcy Regier and Kevin Devine, who oversees Amerks hockey operations, really have any pulse on what is happening to the Amerks – and if they do, do they care?

It didn’t start well on the injury front, with the Amerks losing Corey Tropp for the season during their very first game. Many fans hoped for a replacement player right away. That the Sabres management would recognize losing their top winger in the first game could be a devastating blow, especially in a league with so much talent. But nothing happened. It was understandable, especially when Brian Flynn capitalized on his new opportunity. He has, perhaps, become the Amerks’ best forward and arguably MVP to date.

However, it didn’t end there. As it seems to happen to every year to the Amerks, [...]Read More

Amerks Announcer Don Stevens on Versus

August 5, 2009 - By

If you’ve missed hearing the voice of Don Stevens calling an Amerks hockey game all summer then you’ll be able to hear him on August 29th at 3pm on Versus as he does play by play for the Major League Roller Hockey Pro Tour Championship game.

I know that roller hockey is a popular sport, but I had no idea that this league existed.  If it wasn’t for Don Stevens doing play by play I probably never would have found this.  How many people really tune into Versus at 3pm on a Saturday?  Hit the guide button now on your DVR remote and set this to record.

Here’s the rest of the release from the league:

Major League Roller Hockey (MLRH)  has announced an agreement with the VERSUS Network to broadcast an MLRH Roller Hockey Special featuring the MLRH Pro Tour Championship game and the CO-ED Slamm Hockey Championships.  The program is set to air Saturday, August 29 at 3:00 PM EST.  The telecast marks the first time in over ten years that roller hockey will be seen on Network TV.

The Championships were played at the Pepsi Center in Buffalo and will be packaged into a one hour special.  [...]Read More