It wasn't quite the Sabres' year, but one corner of Buffalo celebrated a Stanley Cup championship this week.
Delaware North Companies, whose chairman and chief executive officer Jeremy Jacobs is also owner of the NHL-champion Boston Bruins, held a brief reception at its global headquarters in Fountain Plaza on Friday afternoon.
"We're all part of one big, happy family," Delaware North President and Chief Operating Officer Chuck Moran said. "We all feel like we're a part of [the championship]."
About 100 employees at the office attended the reception, which included "Congratulations Bruins!" cakes and black and gold balloons. Jacobs wasn't present, neither was the Cup.
But pictures of Boston players hoisting the Stanley Cup, along with the banner that was unfurled behind the Bruins' bench immediately following their 4-0 victory in Game Seven of the Cup finals in Vancouver, decorated the walls. Queen's musical celebration fixture "We are the Champions" played from portable speakers connected to an iPod.
Many of the employees at the reception wore black Bruins championship T-shirts over their work clothes.
Some of the employees at Delaware North have worked closely with the Boston organization and are around the Bruins brand all the time.
Dan Zimmer, vice president of corporate finance and development, has worked with Boston for four years after spending time in Buffalo.
Zimmer's allegiance shifted from the Sabres to the Bruins as he worked more with the franchise.
"I couldn't be happier they came home with the Cup," he said, "even though I'm just a kid from Kenmore."
Zimmer said his children still cheer on the Sabres, despite his best efforts to convert them. After Buffalo was eliminated, though, they adopted the Bruins as a second team, he said.
He said the win was important to those at the company.
"It's a proud moment for the Jacobs family and everyone involved," he said.
Moran said that Delaware North would celebrate a championship with any of the professional sports teams that it works with, but "this is extra special."
Jacobs has owned the Bruins for 36 years. His father founded Delaware North as a small concessions business in Buffalo in 1915, and passed the company to Jacobs when he died. Jacobs' three sons are heavily involved in the company's operations.
Delaware North is a privately held hospitality and food service company.
Moran, the highest ranking non-family member in the organization, attended some of the games at the Delaware North-owned TD Garden in Boston during the Bruins playoff run.
"It's very similar to going to a game in Buffalo," he said. "The atmosphere was electric."
Moran said the Cup would be making a visit to the Delaware North offices. He wasn't sure when.
"Right now, I don't think you could get the trophy away from the players if you sent the Massachusetts National Guard," he said.