Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Buffalo News,
Anxiety is intensifying as the deadline approaches because incoming contract proposals could blow away anything the Sabres can put together. Also on the brink of unrestricted free agency are forwards Adam Mair, Michael Ryan and Dainius Zubrus, defenseman Teppo Numminen and goalie Ty Conklin.
Sources close to the team say Mair is close signing a multiyear extension. The Presidents’ Trophy winners are making a push to sign him before Sunday.
The signing of Mair, however, would do little to quell the angst surrounding the futures of Briere and Drury, players who accounted for more than 20 percent of the team’s winning goals in the regular season and 35 percent in the playoffs.
Briere’s agent, Pat Brisson has informed Sabres management his client intends on investigating his options in unrestricted free agency.
“We’ve made a decision to go to July 1st,” Brisson told TSN.ca. “We haven’t closed the door on the idea of returning to Buffalo entirely, however out of respect to Darcy Regier and the organization we felt it was important to make our intentions clear.”
added 5:13pm, the CP, via TSN, has a story regarding most of the top UFAs….
from the Buffalo News,
Although the All-Star Game MVP claimed he hasn’t given up on re-signing with the Sabres, his decision to man a war room of sorts with Brisson doesn’t bode well.
“It’s exciting,” Briere said of free agency. “I’ve never been though it before. If it gets there, I just want to be around where it’s going to happen and where my agent’s going to be so we can deal with it directly and not over the phone, relaying messages. I want to be there when the offers come in.”
Briere on Thursday confirmed the Sabres, after nearly six weeks of indifference, had finally extended an offer. Minutes later, he learned Brisson had rejected it.
Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn declined to discuss any of the club’s pending free agents.
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
The Buffalo Sabres are going to have dig a lot deeper if the team intends on holding on to veteran forward Daniel Briere.
The Sabres tabled an offer to briere on Wednesday night. The offer is believed to be very similar to the package Briere tried to get Buffalo to agree to last summer—which was $25 million over five years.
via WGR550 Radio,
WGR550 has learned that the Sabres are trying to work out a deal with Co-Captain Chris Drury. Fellow Captain Daniel Briere was offered a contract yesterday.
from News Wire Services via the Buffalo News,
A television station reported Wednesday night that the Buffalo Sabres have begun negotiations with co-captains Daniel Briere and Chris Drury, both of whom are due to become unrestricted free agents at 12:01 p.m. on Sunday.
The Sabres made Briere an offer late Wednesday evening, Buffalo’s WGRZ-TV reported. It’s not clear what the offer is for a player seeking a minimum four-year deal, and expected to command a $6 million-a-year salary.
Briere finished 10th in the NHL with a career-high 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists).
Briere’s agent Pat Brisson declined comment.
from the AP via ESPN,
Dainius Zubrus anticipates becoming a free agent this weekend, a move that would end the veteran forward’s brief stint with the Buffalo Sabres.
“That’s certainly the direction it looks like it’s headed,” his agent, Jerrold Colton said Wednesday.
With the NHL’s free agency period starting at noon Sunday, Colton declined to say whether he’s had any talks with the Sabres.
“Certainly, these things can get done if both sides are motivated,” Colton said. “But at this point, we’re anticipating that Dainius will hit the market.”
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Maybe it’s a tribute to the Sabres that they have what are universally considered the top two soon-to-be unrestricted free agents in the game -Chris Drury and Daniel Briere and the most coveted restricted free agent -Thomas Vanek (with centre Derek Roy a close second) heading to market, but the view from here is that that’s not exactly a good thing. The Sabres absolutely refused to discuss contract extensions with their key players during the season claiming it was “club policy.”
Really? Since when? The Sabres twice extended Dominik Hasek’s contract when he was the premier goaltender in the NHL and playing in Buffalo.
much more from Jim…
from the Buffalo News,
The Sabres continued their tightlipped policy.
“I think that the less said the better right now, and we’ll go from there,” managing partner Larry Quinn said.
Briere is said to have received only one brief phone call. Drury’s agent, Mark Witkin, declined to update his client’s status. The Sabres’ exclusive negotiating rights to both players are set to expire. The other 29 teams can extend contract offers at one minute past noon Sunday.
Drury may have a chance to go back to where his career started if the Sabres maintain their current negotiating pace. An industry source said Tuesday the Colorado Avalanche is expected to bid for their third-round pick in the 1994 draft. Drury won the Stanley Cup…
from the AP via the Hockey News,
Without ruling out the possibility of re-signing with Buffalo, Briere’s agent, Pat Brisson, said Saturday the chances are increasing that his client will test the market once NHL free agency opens July 1.
“It’s different now,” Brisson said, noting this is Briere’s first opportunity to be an unrestricted free agent. “We’ll see. It’s getting closer and closer.”
Brisson, however, noted he’s still open to getting a deal done with Buffalo.
“We haven’t ruled out anything,” he said. “We’re continuing to talk. We’re very open-minded.”
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