Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
from the AP via the Globe and Mail,
Center Derek Roy was one of five players retained by the Buffalo Sabres after they were issued qualifying offers.
The moves, announced Wednesday, marked the first step by the Sabres to re-sign their restricted free agents. Players have the right to accept the one-year offers or negotiate new deals.
Also issued offers were forwards Daniel Paille, Andrew Peters and defenseman Nathan Paetsch.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The Sabres can trim by shopping Maxim Afinogenov and Jaroslav Spacek and saying goodbye to Teppo Numminen and rental Dainius Zubrus. Afinogenov, Spacek and Numminen made $8.825 million combined last season. Afinogenov and Spacek are scheduled to cost the Sabres $6.975 million next season. It’s too much for a team that was 16-7-3 without Afinogenov, 9-6-2 without Spacek and 7-4-1 without both.
My money’s on Drew Stafford.
Buffalo also needs to account for restricted free agents Nathan Paetsch, Derek Roy, Daniel Paille and Andrew Peters. Peters will gladly accept his 10 percent raise. And this doesn’t account for Clarke MacArthur and Patrick Kaleta, whose NHL salaries for next season are $1.125 million combined. The Sabres need a little more Kaleta and a little less Max, and they also need depth for the blue line.
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
The Sabres retained the rights to forward Thomas Vanek by issuing a qualifying offer to their leading goal scorer.
It will take more than a one-year, $942,000 deal—the offer matching Vanek’s salary last season—to keep him playing in Buffalo.
The move, announced by Vanek’s agent, Stephen Bartlett, on Tuesday, is considered only the first step for the Sabres, who are expected to attempt negotiating a long-term contract with Vanek to prevent other teams from luring him away.
from the Buffalo News,
After sitting through the rough times, the Sabres’ coach and general manager had no plans to leave with the franchise peaking. They finally made it official this morning with a news conference in HSBC Arena.
Ruff, who is up for NHL coach of the year tonight, agreed to a three-year deal with an option for a fourth season. Regier, who took over as GM in 1997 and hired Ruff later that summer, signed a two-year contract. Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn did not give salaries, but he said both signed for below their market value to stay in Buffalo.
“We obviously went through some real tough times,” said Ruff, who coached during a franchise-high three-year stretch without a playoff appearance that ended last season. “We’ve got the team to a level of play that is very exciting….”
from the AP via TSN,
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff and general manager Darcy Regier have agreed to new contracts, allowing Buffalo to retain the architects of a team coming off consecutive Eastern Conference finals appearances.
The deals will be announced later this week, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Sabres have not yet announced the signings.
continued... no shock here, this has been known for weeks…
via Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The National Hockey League plans to play host to another outdoor game on New Year’s Day 2008. The host team has yet to be determined, but this time the game is not expected to be held in Canada. Detroit, Buffalo and Pittsburgh are three of the interested teams. The 2007-08 NHL schedule is not expected to be finalized until mid-July.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Sabres general manager Darcy Regier is confident he and coach Lindy Ruff will be back in Buffalo next season. Co-captains Chris Drury’s and Daniel Briere’s futures with the team are less certain.
“Both of us expect to be back,” Regier said Monday, referring to himself and Ruff, whose contracts expired after this season. “There’s been work that’s been positive and I don’t expect any changes going forward. We’ll get there at some point.”
What’s yet to been determined is the Sabres’ plans in attempting to re-sign Briere and Drury, both eligible to become unrestricted free agents July 1.
from Bob DiCesare of the Buffalo News,
Owner Tom Golisano says the only way the Buffalo Sabres can max out on the salary cap and break even on next season’s bottom line would be by advancing to the second round of the playoffs. OK. And the problem is?
This is no time for Golisano and the rest of the front office to scream “Retreat!” If anything, this is when the suits upstairs should start playing, in hockey lingo, a little out of character, show some gumption, reward Sabres boosters for their fanatical loyalty, finish the darn job. And if it costs the franchise a little more money than desired, if it has the front office squirming over the risks, well, it has only itself to blame.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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