National Hockey Now is proud to introduce our new beat writer Michael Augello and our newest chapter of the Hockey Now network, Buffalo! By the end of the week, National Hockey Now will be in 17 NHL cities with professional beat reporters, columnists and a full hockey-loving staff of journalists ready to cover every inch of the league, including the Buffalo Sabres. Michael comes to us from the blogosphere and covers the Toronto Maple Leafs for Hockeybuzz. A native of Western New York, Michael is long familiar with the Sabres, their history and the current state of the franchise and will offer an objective analysis of the Blue and Gold.
From Michael Augello:
As someone who was born in suburban Buffalo and lived here all of my life, I have been an observer of the Sabres organization going back to the original owners Seymour and Northup Knox, general manager Punch Imlach,and the heyday of the French Connection. I was eight years old when the Sabres made their first Cup Final against Philadelphia, and saw the organization make Conference Finals under Scotty Bowman in 1980, the Cup Finals in 1999, and consecutive Conference Finals in 2006 and 2007.
For all the high points there have been in the 53 years of the franchise, there have been many low points, whether it be Brad Park’s overtime goal in Game 7 in 1983, Brent Ashton’s winner in Game 5 in 1985, the chaos and controversy surrounding the Brett Hull goal in Game 6 in ’99, losing to Carolina in ’06, and most recently a franchise that has missed the playoffs and been in a perpetual rebuild for the last 12 years.
There is reason for optimism after taking what seems to be permanent residence at the bottom of the NHL standings in recent years. Buffalo appears to be on the precipice of making it back to the playoffs with an exciting core group led by Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power, Dylan Cozens, and Tage Thompson, and a fairly deep pool of young and talented players, but what the Sabres do this summer may hold the key to them taking that next step.
My path to covering the Sabres is circuitous to say the least, starting with being a hockey fan in the 70s, watching Sabres games on local TV and Hockey Night In Canada. I was a frequent caller to Buffalo and Toronto radio into my 30s. With the birth of the blogosphere, I started writing in 2007 as a hobby and was hired to cover the Toronto Maple Leafs for Hockeybuzz in 2008. I’ve covered the Sabres, the Leafs, the NHL and MLB for a number of sites over the last 15 years and have been a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association since 2016.
Hockey writers are fans of the game and do not reflect an allegiance to a particular team. My coverage of the Sabres will be passionate and opinionated, but my analysis will be objective.
We welcome your readership and your feedback, and knowing Buffalo as well as I do, both should be quite lively.