An open letter to Terrence M. Pegula
blog by The Canisius Griffin • September 19, 2011 @ 3:28pm
Dear Mr. Pegula,
It’s evident that you love changing things for the better. You’ve changed the attitude not only of our hockey team, the Buffalo Sabres, but of our city as well. In one summer, you were able to get not one, not two, but three highly respected players to sign with the Sabres. Heck, you’ve even gotten rid of the slugs on the Jumbotron. With all you’ve done for us, I’d hate to ask you to do anything more. But, please, hear me out.
We can use a rink at Canisius College, and we’re looking for people to help us build it. As you can probably guess, we’d love it if you were involved in our project. Sure, you have the financial means to help us out. But you see, Mr. Pegula, you’re the perfect guy to lend a hand because of two other, more important reasons: First, you have the dedication to get the puck sliding, and second, you have a connection to Canisius through your own Jesuit education.
Right now, Mr. Pegula, you’re probably the most popular person in Western New York, and that’s because of your dedication.
It’s your dedication that got you to and from your high school everyday by hitchhiking 15 miles. It’s your dedication that got you a job at a strip mine when you were 14 years old. It’s your dedication that made your dream of owning the Buffalo Sabres come true.
And it’s your dedication that Canisius needs to build an on-campus ice rink.
You get things done, Mr. Pegula. Canisius is a dedicated school. Let’s put our heads together and get this rink built.
Now we can’t leave out the fact that you graduated from Scranton Prep, a Jesuit high school. It just so happens that Canisius is a Jesuit school, too and I heard a rumor the other day that had hockey been invented in the first half of the sixteenth century, it would have been St. Ignatius of Loyola’s favorite sport.
It’s clear that Scranton Prep prepared you well for your post-high school life. You are a man for others, Mr. Pegula. You’ve turned an entire city’s attitude 360 degrees. You’ve given Buffalonians hope, an even stronger sense of community, and two proven defensemen. It’s clear that you work for the greater glory of God.
Having gone to a Jesuit school, you probably know the type of bond that is shared between people who have been Jesuit-educated. It’s so much more than just having something in common. It’s a shared sense of pride that makes us a unique family. We’re blessed to have been taught by some of the best educators out there — Jesuit fathers and laypeople who want us not only to succeed, but to succeed together.
The rink wouldn’t just benefit Canisius, though. Think of it as a second home for the Sabres — after all, it would be the team’s practice facility. Picture Lindy Ruff running practice here on campus while the First Niagara Center is being set up for a Goo Goo Dolls concert. Think of the extra ice time that assistant coaches James Patrick and Kevyn Adams would have to turn players like Tyler Ennis and the Nathan Gerbe into solid veterans. And wouldn’t it be nice to have a few emergency practice goalies about a block away?
Imagine how partnering with Canisius could affect the Sabres. Canisius is considered by many to be the best academic institution in Buffalo while the Sabres are considered by many to be the best sports team in Buffalo. Canisius has been a household name in the Queen City for the past 141 years, the Sabres for the past 41.
A partnership with Canisius would prove to doubters that a professional sports team really does care about giving back to the community, about education, and about wanting to succeed outside of athletics. Start something throughout the NHL. Maybe other teams would follow your lead and give more to their local colleges or universities, too.
So, Mr. Pegula, let’s put our Jesuit-educated minds next to your Jesuit-educated mind. Let’s put our household name next to your household name. Let’s put our blue and gold next to your blue and gold.
Let’s put a hockey arena on the Canisius College campus.