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Canisius hospitality for fan appreciated

A huge thank you to the whole Canisius College basketball staff, especially coach Jim Baron.

Recently I was surprised that my nephew Michael, who has autism, wanted to go to a Canisius game. I have a season ticket and contacted coach Baron about Mike and he met us after the game with the players. They talked to Mike and we took pictures with Chris Manhertz and Jordan Heath. We were told to wait about 20 minutes for Billy Baron. He talked to us for a while, Mike was in heaven and we took more pictures. All the way home that’s all he talked about. I never could get him to go to an event like this before.

We went to three more games, and he watched all the rest on the Internet. The cheerleaders, dancers and the ushers also were very nice to us. Thank you again, coach Baron. The Griffs are back, support them.

Jack Gawronski

Buffalo

Hurley, UB a positive in area sports landscape

Forget about the Bills raising prices (not unexpected). Forget about the Sabres’ dysfunction (nothing new there). Let’s talk positive for a change. Bob Hurley’s first year as UB coach was a resounding success. Championship of the MAC East Division. Not bad for a start.

There were doubts out there, but he created respect and a no-nonsense attitude. It was a brilliant and daring hire. His leadership abilities showed as a player and now as a coach.

Congratulations, UB and Bob Hurley.

Paul DiVito

Amherst

No game in Toronto? It’s about time it happened

The Buffalo Bills’ decision to postpone their game in Toronto this fall is a long time in coming. My only question is: Why did it take so long?

I found it incredible that the team would even consider extending the series from the original agreement. They should have forced the series to end at the earliest possible moment.

The best way to market a team is to win. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out, so why did the Bills believe that they were going to accomplish this feat during undoubtedly their worst period of performance in their history?

The fans in Toronto do not like the Bills playing in their own backyard. In fact, they would rather come to The Ralph to enjoy an NFL game. Besides, the home game advantage never materialized north of the border. If anything, the opponents actually had as many fans cheering them on as the Bills.

My humble suggestion is for the Bills to consider playing a home pre-season game in the Rogers Centre, as this would have been a much more intelligent idea in marketing a team than costing us a home game during the regular season. It is quite apparent that the Bills didn’t do their homework adequately before forfeiting that eighth home game the past several seasons.

One final request: The Toronto Raptors playing one home game at the First Niagara Center each year should have been agreed upon from the get-go. Please get our neighbors to the north to make it up to us by playing the Celtics, Lakers, Heat, Knicks or Cavaliers at the FNC at least once a year.

Jim Antes

Williamsville

Bills should try hard to draft UB’s Mack

The Bills have a no-brainer for their first-round pick in the NFL draft. Hopefully Khalil Mack will still be available for the Bills when they pick in the No. 9 spot. Linebacker is one of the Bills’ prime needs and who else could better complement Kiko Alonso?

For once, the Bills have the opportunity of getting a local athlete with all the potential to have the best linebacker tandem in the NFL.

Don Weimer

Williamsville

New GM Murray has items to check off list

Tim Murray, the Buffalo Sabres’ new general manager, has many priorities. One is signing Ted Nolan to a contract extension so everyone knows we have leadership on the ice.

Next, through this year and the off season, there are at least six players who, by trade, release or being sent to Rochester, should be gone. These players are a combination of minor leaguers, players past their prime, or do not fit into the Sabres system.

They are: Matt Ellis, Ville Leino, John Scott, Drew Stafford, Alexander Sulzer, and Henrik Tallinder.

This is just a start, but trades and rookies will have to make up next year’s roster.

Rich Pietrykowski

North Tonawanda

LaFontaine departed because he lacked power

When the dust settles with the latest Sabres version of SNL, I predict we’ll find that Pat LaFontaine did not agree to the trades that were made, and that Terry Pegula sided with the new general manager.

If that transpired, that told Pat that his title of President of Hockey Operations was just that, a title, and realized that he was a potted palm at First Niagara Center and packed his bags.

It’s also telling Mr. Pegula decided not to fill LaFontaine’s spot again, which means Pegula let everyone know who was really in charge. That spells nothing but future trouble for the franchise.

Mr. Pegula is a good businessman and is an expert in his business. As an owner, he has no business making hockey trade decisions. That should be left to the professionals he has hired.

Cheryl Cranston

West Seneca

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