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ZUBRUS EXPECTS FREE AGENCY; BRIERE RECEIVES OFFER

Thursday, 06.28.2007 / 9:13 AM / News
Associated Press
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ZUBRUS EXPECTS FREE AGENCY; BRIERE RECEIVES OFFER

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - 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."

The Sabres have bigger concerns beyond Zubrus, with the team standing to lose co-captains, Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, to free agency.

The Sabres have begun negotiations with both players, and did make 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 US$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, while Sabres general manager Darcy Regier has declined interview requests this week.

Drury's agent, Mark Witkin, has also declined to discuss the status of talks involving his client. Drury, who scored a career-high 69 points (37 goals, 32 assists), is projected to double the $3.15 million he made last season.

Zubrus made $1.85 million in the final year of his contract last season. Buffalo acquired him in a deal with Washington at the trade deadline in February. A 10-year veteran, he had four goals and eight points in 19 games with the Sabres, and finished with 24 goals and 60 points - both career-highs - in 79 games.

Zubrus added eight assists in 15 playoff games, but missed Buffalo's final postseason game - a 3-2 overtime loss to Ottawa in Game 5 the Eastern Conference finals - because of a knee injury.

"He loved being with Buffalo and is still open to that possibility," Colton said. "But we're very confident that there will be a lot of interest in him out there."

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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