The Buffalo Sabres may soon have a new owner. Terry Pegula, an oil and gas drilling executive, is looking at the club's books and is in discussions with team executives.

Pegula approached Thomas Golisano, the Sabres' principal owner, several weeks ago about buying the team, and he remains the only bidder, according to Larry Quinn, a minority owner. If Pegula makes an offer that the team accepts, the transaction should be completed relatively soon because Pegula does not need outside financing and Golisano has only two minority partners.

"They’re doing their due diligence and once they do that, we'll have some discussions," Quinn said. “Something could happen quickly."

Any potential transaction would have to be reviewed by an executive committee of the N.H.L., which would make a recommendation to the Board of Governors. The owners can vote at one of their meetings or by facsimile.

The team could be sold for no more than $200 million, one sports executive said. According to a study by Forbes, the Sabres are worth $169 million. The team had revenue of $81 million last year, when it lost about $8 million on an operating basis.

The Sabres have fared well under Golisano's ownership. He took over in 2003 after the previous owner, the financially troubled Adelphia Communications, gave the team to the N.H.L. Since then, season-ticket sales have improved and the team has made it to the conference finals twice.