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“You’re my hero,” he told Perreault, star struck.

Pegula and his wife, Kim, have western New York ties, having lived previously in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park after meeting in Olean, a 90-minute drive south of the city. Kim is from nearby Rochester. The couple will continue to live in Florida, where one of their five children plays tennis, but will travel back and forth to Buffalo, Pegula said.

At 59, Pegula has an estimated worth of $3 billion and was most recently ranked 110th on Forbes magazine’s list of wealthiest Americans. On Tuesday, he was asked whether he viewed his purchase of the team as a business venture. The outgoing Golisano, the billionaire founder of payroll company Paychex, made a hefty profit on the team after buying it out of bankruptcy in a deal valued at $92 million.

“If I want to make some money, I’ll go drill a gas well,” the founder and former president of the energy company East Resources Inc. responded.

On whether he’ll spend to the player salary cap, “We’ll put the pedal to the metal as capably as we can,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s wise to spend to the cap every year. But we’re not in this to save money, that’s for sure.”