BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ The Rigas family is now the official owner of the Buffalo Sabres with the National Hockey League's giving approval of a buyout of a dozen minority partners.

NHL officials signed off on the ownership transfer, which has been in the works for two years, on Wednesday. Details of the agreement were not available.

The deal severs the last tie between the team and the Knox family, which brought the franchise to Buffalo in 1970. Seymour Knox IV, son of the late Sabres co-founder Seymour Knox III, was one of the minority owners whose stake was purchased.

The takeover of the Sabres began in 1994 when John Rigas invested $15 million in the hockey club, making the Adelphia president and chief executive the largest single investor in the team. He was named interim chairman in January 1998.

In March 1998, Rigas reached a memorandum of understanding that allowed him to take over the operations of the club and become its effective owner. It took until Wednesday, however, before the memorandum became the NHL-approved buyout.