Sabres owners purchase Buffalo Beauts of pro women's league
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Sabres and Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula are expanding their sports holdings by purchasing the National Women's Hockey League Buffalo Beauts in a first-of-its-kind sale for the 3-year-old professional league.
The Pegulas will become the first private owners to have full control of one of the NWHL's four franchises in a move that further expands the league's ties to the NHL. Two months ago, the New Jersey Devils reached what was called “a strategic alliance” with the Metropolitan Riveters in which they also gained partial ownership of the team.
The NWHL operates its two other franchises in Boston and Connecticut.
The defending champion Beauts already had ties with the Sabres in playing home games at the Pegula-operated HarborCenter hockey and entertainment facility.
Former Robert Morris standout and U.S. Olympian Brianne McLaughlin helped lead the Beauts to last year's title.
Mercyhurst graduate and current Robert Morris assistant coach Kelley Steadman also played for the Beauts.
Other local products playing for Buffalo include Mercyhurst's Taylor Accursi, Julia DiTondo, Jess Jones and Katherine Donohue and Robert Morris' No. 2 all-time leading scorer Rebecca Vint.
Kim Pegula says the purchase represents her and Terry's commitment in contributing to the growth of women's hockey.
NWHL founder and commissioner Dani Rylan described the purchase as a significant step for women's hockey.
The Pegulas' purchase of the Beauts has the potential of providing the young league financial stability a year after the NWHL was forced to cut player salaries.