Niagara Gazette — n NHL LOCKOUT: When the NHL and its players’ union couldn’t come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement over the summer, the owners locked out the players. Most fans didn’t think the dispute would stretch all that far into the season — if at all. They were wrong. The deal still remains to be reached, with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman setting a drop-dead date in the middle of January. If a new CBA isn’t signed and games beginning by then, he’ll cancel the season.
n FIRST NIAGARA BUYS HSBC BRANCHES: It was a deal that left thousands of Western New Yorkers facing a quandary. HSBC announced it was selling its American comercial banking interests and selling off branches. Months later, it was announced First Niagara Bank, formerly headquartered in Pendleton, would take over the lion’s share of HSBC’s business. The change-over was mostly smooth, though several branches were closed and remain in limbo.
n BUFFALO NIAGARA BILLION: Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged up to $1 billion in economic development money, tax breaks and low cost power to help spur economic growth in the region. The governor’s stated preference was for the money to be spent on large-scale projects largely within Buffalo city limits. But area legislators who met with the governor prior to the announcement said he would leave the details up to local investors, leaders and his newly created Regional Economic Development Council.