Buffalo Sabres Insider App Twitter Facebook

Lexus

BRIERE OPEN TO STAYING WITH SABRES

Tuesday, 05.22.2007 / 9:13 AM / News
Associated Press
X
Share with your Friends


BRIERE OPEN TO STAYING WITH SABRES

Daniel Briere (Photo: Bill Wippert)
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Daniel Briere has heard the rumors that he's heading to Nashville, Philadelphia or Montreal, ready to cash in once free agency opens in July.

Not so fast, the Buffalo Sabres co-captain said Monday, after he and his teammates cleaned out their lockers.

"My first, my probably biggest wish right now would be to be a part of this team," Briere said. "The Sabres, if they're interested, they're going to have the first chance. They're going to have the best chance. And if that doesn't work out, then we'll start looking at different options."

Briere, coming off a career season, said he'd be willing to sign for less than what he might be worth on the open market to stay in Buffalo.

"I like it here. We like the community. We've made it our home, even in the offseason," he said. "Yeah, that's worth some money to stay here. But I'm just looking for it to be fair."

What's fair is the question, because Briere is projected to attract offers well above the team-high $5 million one-year deal he received in arbitration last summer. He's coming off a regular season in which he led the Sabres with 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists). He added a team-leading 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in the playoffs, which ended Saturday with a 3-2 overtime loss to Ottawa in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

RELATED MULTIMEDIA
Photo:
Locker Cleanout

Another question is whether the Sabres can keep both Briere and co-captain Chris Drury, who is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and is expected to command a hefty raise after making $3.15 million last season.

The Sabres haven't commented about their offseason plans, except to say they have time to determine their approach. The team is somewhat handcuffed after its payroll this season nudged against the NHL's $44 million salary cap.

Buffalo has a few other decisions to make with forwards Dainius Zubrus and Adam Mair, defenseman Teppo Numminen and backup goalie Ty Conklin also eligible for free agency.

The Sabres must also make room to re-sign forward Thomas Vanek, who scored a team-leading 43 goals. Buffalo can retain Vanek's rights by offering him a tendered contract, although the forward is eligible for arbitration.

The biggest concerns are Briere and Drury, who have been the team's leaders for the past three seasons and are credited for helping the Sabres reach the conference finals for the past two years.

Drury said he wants to be back, but said it's too early to discuss his future.

Drury is also coming off a strong season in which he registered career-highs in goals (37), including nine game-winners, and points (69). Of his eight playoff goals, three were game-winners, giving him 15 for his career.

Both Drury and Briere have expressed disappointment regarding the Sabres' policy of not negotiating contracts during the season. Drury was open to negotiations in January.

Briere said there is a misconception that he and Drury don't get along or are competing to see who gets the better offer.

"People were trying to picture it as me against Chris. And that's the part that was a little disappointing, because it never felt like that for me," Briere said. "I'd like to play with Chris again. I have the utmost respect for him. ... We're really good friends."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82