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This Day in Buffalo Sports History
Jan. 13, 2003 -- Out of money

The Buffalo Sabres hit bottom on this date at least financially.

They declared bankruptcy under the weight of a large financial burden, caused by the collapse of the Rigas family's cable television empire.

The Sabres, who owed Adelphia Communications $130 million, formally filed protection. It had $67.6 million in assets and $238 million in debts.

"Without further financing, the club could soon default on its obligations to make payment of players' and other necessary employees' compensation," Sabres' lawyers wrote in their bankruptcy petition.

It was difficult to know what might happen at that point. The answer turned out much happier than was expected. The NHL ran the team for a while, a new owner was found, and Buffalo became a great hockey town again.

-- Budd Bailey

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