- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 8, 2002

Seen and heard last night at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.:
NO OLIE: The prognosis for Olie Kolzig's strained hip flexor injury did not appear to be long term, but he did not skate with the team yesterday, and coach Bruce Cassidy did not think that was a positive sign.
"Obviously, [the injury] didn't improve much overnight," Cassidy said. "We're hoping to get him back on the ice Monday, but that's all I know right now. You have a pulled muscle, it's not like a broken bone or something where you can pinpoint the normal recovery time, 2-to-4 weeks, et cetera. We're kind of at the mercy of that particular muscle and when he can tolerate the pain."
Kolzig was injured early in warmups before Friday night's game against Atlanta and backed up Craig Billington, although he couldn't play.
TROUBLES LOOMING?: The Sabres franchise, run by the NHL since last summer when the Rigas family fell under a financial cloud, could be facing more problems. On Nov.21 the league picked a group headed by businessman Mark E. Hamister to purchase the franchise but apparently the prospective owners are making some demands that government officials find more than troubling.
According to the Buffalo News, Hamister wants a major financial aid package from state and local governmental bodies, including direct cash assistance, to allow him to complete the purchase.
Among the problems with that is the state's $10billion budget shortfall over the next 16 months. There is talk of a cutback in services and possible layoffs, and it is feared there will be a taxpayer backlash if a professional team is bailed out while citizens struggle. Additionally, if local help is not available, other groups may offer enough to tempt ownership to move the team.
Dave Fay

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