With the current world wide economic climate it shouldn't surprise anyone if NHL club owners in certain markets in the United States start kicking the tires, looking to see if anyone might be interested in buying their franchises. Hockey finishes a distant fourth as a team sport in the United States market as a whole, and in an economic downturn hockey is the first sport diehard sports fans are willing to forgo.

It seems that every few weeks a rumor springs up, claiming this NHL franchise or that one might be for sale, and today the latest rumor is swirling around the Buffalo Sabres. So are the Buffalo Sabres for sale?

According to Buffalo Sabres minority owner, Larry Quinn the answer is a resounding no. Reports have surfaced that majority owner, Tom Golisano is looking to sell the Sabres, but Quinn denied this when he spoke to TSN earlier today.

The story gets even more intriguing with the rumor that Jim Balsillie - co-founder of Blackberry maker, Research in Motion - is involved as a potential suitor. Balsillie's lawyer, Richard Rodier also denied this rumor.

The fuel behind these rumors is an article that will be published later this week by Western New York Hockey magazine. The same article apparently makes reference to the possibility of the Buffalo Sabres playing part of their schedule in the future at Copp's Coliseum in Hamilton.

Stay tuned for more on this story. As always, any rumor in the hockey world has to be taken with a large helping of salt, but the recent economic environment certainly lends some credence to rumors of this sort, and these sorts of stories will likely become more commonplace over the next year or two.