Location One: Locker Room
I wanted to start off with this picture because it is my favorite part of the entire renovation. What you are looking at is the new ceiling in the Sabres' remodeled, now oval-shaped, locker room. After changing out of their street clothes in a separate room, the players proceed to this room where they will suit up into their on-ice gear. This ceiling features hundreds of holes alternating in size to allow light from the lighting fixtures above to seep through. This holds back some light setting a different mood while pulling the attention of the eyes to the suspended team logo in the center. The suspended logo is aimed to face the locker room entrance acting as a team-first reminder upon entrance. Above each player's locker is an in-game photo of themselves.
Location Two: Locker RoomIf you look down to the floor, here is a close-up of the illuminated team logo placed in the center of the locker room's floor. This is what no one, not even the players or Mr. Pegula himself, will be stepping on. This beautiful floor piece emits light back up at the ceiling. Looking closely, you can see the reflections of the ceilings suspended logo and the small holes letting minor amounts of light through to the floor.
Location Three: Locker Room
These six words are what the players will see as they exit their locker room and head for the ice. Individually the smaller words are what an athlete should have in order to help them reach the larger word in the picture, excellence. Excellence is what these athletes are striving for. When putting all five together, they represent a well-rounded athlete. An organization stockpiled with well-rounded athletes will achieve "EXCELLENCE" which is key to Terry Pegula's goal outlined in our next picture.
Location Four: Corridor to Ice
Immediately upon walking under the six words and out the door of their locker room, the players will see the plaque pictured above to their right hand side. This quote, etched into a sheet of glass, was taken from new owner Terry Pegula's speech on February 22, 2011 when he laid out his goals for our beloved Sabres. It's there just to remind everyone who walks by it, most importantly the players every time they step on the ice, what their mission or "reason for existence" is. The two sabres were taken from the old locker room before demolition and were preserved for this very showcase.
Location Five: Corridor to Ice
As the players make their way to the ice, they will always be reminded of the organization's roots. The door to the left of the picture opens up to a notorious tunnel. That tunnel leads to the bench and ice surface as thousands of screaming and cheering fans rejoice. In the picture you will see the six retired numbers by the Sabres franchise in order of their retirement.
#11 Gilbert Perreault - retired 9.17.90
#7 Rick Martin - retired 11.15.95
#14 Rene Robert - retired 11.15.95
#2 Tom Horton - retired 1.5.96
#18 Danny Gare - retired 11.22.05
#16 Pat LaFontaine - retired 3.3.06
Splitting them down the middle is not just your ordinary unfinished slab of concrete. That concrete is preserved from the Aud where the Sabres played their first NHL game. Not pictured is a seventh plaque immediately to the right of LaFontaine's waiting for the next Sabre worthy of having his number retired.
Location Six: Corridor behind Locker Room
This picture shows more history being displayed around the new facility. The renovation included new glass plaques, by decade, to display memorable notes in the history of the franchise. Pictured are the highlights of the 2010-2020 decade so far. It may be hard to read the text, so let me write it for you:
-Ryan Miller wins Vezina Trophy and NHL Foundation award and Tylers Myers wins Calder Memorial Trophy
-1/1/10: The Sabres become the first team ever to win consecutive games when trailing by three or more goals.
-4/10/10: Ryan Miller wins his franchise record 41st game of the season.
-11/10/10: Lindy Ruff's 1,000th game coached
-12/15/10: Sabres' 1,500th win 3-2 vs. Boston
1/6/11: Lindy Ruff's 500th coaching win
1/21/11: Nathan Gerbe sets a franchise record, scoring two goals in a five-second span against the New York Islanders.
2/22/11: Terrence M. Pegula announces his purchase of the Buffalo Sabres.
Vertical up the left side is the Buffalo Sabres' record for the 2010-2020 decade, which is still in the making.
What is your take on what you have seen and heard about the new team facilities? Let me hear it in the comments below.