Former Sabres minority owner breaks silence: Team's layoffs 'just wrong'
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After nearly a decade of staying mum about the Buffalo Sabres, Larry Quinn is speaking up.
The former Sabres minority owner broke his silence Friday to question the mass firings made by the team's parent company, Pegula Sports and Entertainment, earlier in the week.
"As you've noticed, I have not made a single comment about the Sabres since we left," Quinn told The Athletic's John Vogl on Friday. "I have practiced that religiously. But this is - I just don't understand. It's just wrong."
"Treat them right - and this is not right. ... It's just staggering to me," Quinn added.
PSE fired 21 employees - reportedly including three longtime members of the organization - and furloughed 104 more on Tuesday, though The Athletic's Tim Graham clarified that only the furloughs were due to the coronavirus pandemic and that cutbacks were planned before the NHL paused its season.
Quinn was part of the club's previous ownership group led by former majority owner Tom Golisano. They sold it to its current owners, Terry and Kim Pegula, in 2011.
The former minority owner said he didn't want his comments to be seen as an "attack" on the Pegulas, but he did question the current owners' treatment of their tenured employees.
"There's something wrong. I don't know what it is," Quinn said. "I know there's challenges in the business, and I understand that people from time to time have to make economic choices. But you treat the people well that have worked for you for a long time if you've got to part ways, and I just don't get it."
The Sabres were one of the only NHL teams that refused to pay their hourly workers for shifts lost amid the shutdown.
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