THE PEGULAS ARE HOLDING MOST OF THE ARENA CARDS

Could the report that the Buffalo Sabres have approached “another arena” about possibly hosting at least some Rochester Americans games in the future be a ploy in negotiations for a new lease? My hunch is yes.

The Pegulas – owners of the parent Buffalo Sabes – are holding all of the cards. They also own the Amerks and could easily move their AHL affiliate, short-term or forever. To where? A few possibilities: Buffalo; University Park, Pa. (Pegula Ice Arena, home of Penn State hockey – the Pegulas donated $102 million to jump-start the university’s Division I hockey program – seats 5,782); Albany (losing the Devils); and Hamilton, Ont.  (has an AHL-caliber arena).

Can City Hall and Monroe County afford to see the Amerks leave Rochester? It would make for even colder winters without our hockey team.

YOU MIGHT NOT AGREE WITH ME BUT…

The MRI Wednesday on Golden State superstar Kevin Durant’s injured left knee revealed a sprained ACL and a bone bruise. He’ll be sidelined indefinitely. If he can return for the playoffs, the Warriors will be tough be beat for the championship. But if Durant is can’t play, I don’t believe Golden State could beat San Antonio in the Western Conference finals or Cleveland in the NBA Finals.

The New York Yankees are 4-1 this spring after a 5-4 victory Tuesday over the Boston Red Sox. First baseman Greg Bird hit two home runs. If he and catcher Gary Sanchez can carry the power load, the Yankees could defy their few skeptics (including me) and make the postseason a year or two ahead of schedule.

“Flabbergasted” is the word agent Drew Rosenhaus used to describe how he felt regarding the rumor that his client – running back LeSean McCoy – might be released or traded by Buffalo. Most Bills fans probably would use a much stronger and colorful word than flabbergasted. Imagine the 2017 Bills without McCoy and Tyrod Taylor: 4-12 at best?

Part of the negotiations between management of Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack and the horsemen are plans to discuss the possibility of a turf course. Great idea. A grass course surely would attract more trainers and horses and create much-needed larger fields. It always has baffled me why a turf course wasn’t part of the plans when the thoroughbred track opened in 1962.

Considering Moonlight’s upset over 1-to-6 favorite LaLa Land for Best Picture, is there a chance that the UConn women Huskies (104 straight wins) will be upset in the NCAA tournament? Nah.

Andrew Peters is a very fortunate young man after making a very bad mistake.

I wondered if Jim Boeheim hinted during a radio interview with Dan Patrick that this could be his final season because the cupboard might be bare for next season’s Orange.  Jeff DiVeronica quickly assured me that SU will be very good and Boeheim’s 41st season should be another winning one.

Fans of the Amerks had to like Tuesday’s trade of offensively-challenged center 23-year-old Dan Catenacci  (42 goals in 244 games in four seasons with Rochester) to the New York Rangers for 26-year-old offensive-minded defenseman Mat Bodie, who has goals and 22 assists in 45 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack this season.

It is easy to envision apparently discarded Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson as 2017 NFL Comeback Player of the Year with the Green Bay Packers or New York Giants.

I’m wondering if O.J. Simpson has access to a TV in prison and if he has seen Oscar-winning feature documentary O.J.: Made In America.

The Minnesota Twins opened their major-league spring training camp with 62 players – including 31 pitchers and 22 non –roster players. Early forecast; the 2017 Red Wings will be very good and easily post their fifth straight winning season.

TYLER LYDON LOOKING GOOD IN NBA MOCK DRAFTS

Will Syracuse U. sophomore big man Tyler Lydon choose to enter the 2017 NBA Draft. I don’t think he’s ready to play in the NBA but he might think cashing NBA checks is more important – and who could blame him?

Here is how Lydon and Rochester’s Thomas Bryant (sophomore forward at Indiana) rate in six NBA Mock Drafts:

NBA Draft.net – Lydon No. 25 pick…Bryant No. 49 pick

Hoops Hype – Lydon 23rd

Howard Megdal/CBS Sports – Lydon 12th…Bryant 28th

Gary Parrish/CBS Sports – Lydon 23rd…Bryant 22nd

DraftSite.com – Lydon 19th…Bryant 46th

WalterFootball.com – Lydon 27th…Bryant 22nd.

TIGER’S MAJOR WOES IN MAJORS

Tiger Woods appears to be a long shot to play in The Masters April 6-7-8-9 at Augusta National Golf Club. He has played in only 24 of 34 majors since winning the 2008 U.S. Open.

Here’s breakdown on Tiger’s major performances from 2008 through 2016:

Masters – 2nd...t6th…t4th…t4th…t40th…t4th…DNP…t17th…DNP

U.S. Open – 1st…t6th…t4th…DNP…t21st…t32nd…DNP…MC…DNP

British Open – DNP…MC…t23rd…DNP…t3rd…t6th…69th…MC…DNP

PGA Championship – DNP…2nd…t28th…MC…t11th…t40th…MC…MC…DNP.

MC=missed cut; DNP=did not play.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO…

Wednesday, March 1 – Tyreek Hill (23)…Michael Conforto (24)…Will Power (36)…Chris Webber (44)…Ickey Woods (51)…Stewart Elliott (52)…Booker T (52)…Ron Francis (54)…Mike Rozier (56)…Brian Winters (65).  Justin Bieber (23), Ron Howard (63) and Harry Belafonte (90) are invited to the birthday party.

Thursday, March 2 – Malcolm Butler (27)…Shane Vareen (28)…Reggie BYOU MIGHT AGREE WITH ME BUT…

ush (32)…Glen Perkins (34)…Ben Roethlisberger (35)…Henrik Lundqvist (35)…Ross Tucker (38)…Sebastian Janikowski (39)…Leo Gomez (50)…Ron Gant (52)…Terry Steinbach (55)…Ian Woosnam (59). Jon Bon Jovi (55) was invited to the birthday party.