Everything is going exactly as the National Hockey League planned, if not as it wanted. Another arena rocks with the renewed excitement of playoff hockey, and two small-market teams are playing here in late May, a time long reserved for their big-market brothers.
But the energy vibe and broadcast waves emanating from HSBC Arena â€” home of the rejuvenated Buffalo Sabres, bankrupt and teetering toward extinction three years ago â€” are not infinite.
The N.H.L., looking for a comeback, is left to wonder: How long and sweeping is this radius of intrigue?
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