Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres lost them both. Black Sunday will go down as one of the most demoralizing days in franchise history. Gone in the span of about five hours were co-captains Daniel Briere and Chris Drury. The popular centers signed contracts to play elsewhere, leaving the Sabres with a vestige of their very soul….
“Looking at it from Buffalo’s perspective, I’m sure they’re not very happy [Briere and Drury] have left,” Rangers General Manager Glen Sather said. “But that’s the nature of the beast.
“We have to operate within the rules of the league and to the best of our abilities. I’ve seen players leave my teams before, and it’s a complicated and tricky time. You just have to face the facts you can’t always keep everyone.”
from Bucky Gleason at the Buffalo News,
Apparently, the Sabres didn’t agree that Briere’s 32 goals and 95 points last season made him worthy of a raise. It’s why they offered
him a five-year deal worth $25 million, hardly chump change for most of us but not even close to what they should have presented with a clear and honest assessment of the market.
Just so you know, Briere would have jumped on the $25 million offer had it been sent across the table on Jan. 1, the day the Sabres could officially negotiate with him, rather than 72 hours before today’s deadline. Reports had Drury being offered some $30 million over five years, yet another lowball effort that would have looked better months ago.
Even now, Drury could stomach making less than full market value if it meant keeping Briere because keeping Briere meant making the Sabres better.
from the AP via the Globe and Mail,
Sabres executive Larry Quinn had one last piece of advice to offer as the team’s co-captains, Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, gathered in Los Angeles to prepare for the start of NHL free agency.
Landing the most lucrative contract does not necessarily guarantee anyone playing for a winner, the Sabres managing partner said Saturday.
“I think you have to ask yourself, ‘Do you want to win?’ Free agents who went for all the money last year didn’t win, with one exception, Scott Niedermayer,” Quinn said, referring to the Ducks captain who won a Stanley Cup in his first season with Anaheim. “There’s a lot of situations where it didn’t help the player in a competitive situation, because it affects the team’s ability to have players around him.”
continued... some late UFA talk with a Sabres slant…
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.”
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