'The Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday exercised the team option on a 2001-02 contract for center Stu Barnes and signed defenseman James Patrick to a one-year contract.'
'Since being traded to the Sabres in March 1999, Barnes has scored 39 goals and had 53 assists. He leads all Sabres in postseason scoring over the last three seasons with 14 goals.'
'"Stu and James have been a big part of the success of our organization over the last three seasons," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said. "To have both of these veterans back this season makes us better at both ends of the ice."'
'This is a fabulous deal for Buffalo. It may be the best the Sabres have made since trading Alexander Mogilny to Vancouver in 1995. Ironically, that was the trade that brought Peca to Buffalo.'
'"We came from a team that's trying to make the playoffs to a team that's trying to win the Stanley Cup," he said. "It's a hardworking team, and I'm really looking forward to playing in the playoffs."'
'"We're sad to see Michael go," Warrener said Monday. "He's a big part of the team, but I guess now we have to just move on."'
'Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said that while he's had discussions with a number of teams — including St. Louis — interested in trading for Hasek, a deal is not imminent.'
'Buffalo gets a pair of promising young forwards – Mark Connolly and Tyler Pyatt – from the Islanders in exchange for Peca, a proven leader who is widely considered one of the top checking centers in the NHL.'
'Buffalo goaltender Dominik Hasek, however, was not traded despite consistent speculation he could end up with the St. Louis Blues. And he still might.'
'After a year-long standoff with Buffalo Sabres management, Michael Peca finally got the trade he had been demanding. Headed downstate to play for the New York Islanders, Peca leaves behind a legacy of grit and leadership – and of holding his ground at any cost.'
'Regier's voice cracked and his eyes welled while reflecting on the 430-day affair. His speech wavered as he expressed his appreciation to the rest of the Sabres' front office, and again when he discussed the human element of a business decision.'
'Oh, yeah. The Buffalo Sabres drafted some more players on Sunday.'
'The Rigas family, thrilled the organization had succeeded in obtaining "value" for Peca, broke out two $3 bottles of cold duck stored in the wine cellar for just this occasion. They also are pondering a freeze in cable rates . . . through July 1.'
'"I'm just happy now that I can move on and my family can look forward to moving on as well. I wish the Sabres organization well, I thank them and the city of Buffalo and the fans for everything I was able to enjoy in my five years playing here."'
'So the Islanders in two days traded five younger players for two stars who are both 27 and are both former captains with recent histories of bitterness and idleness because of contract disputes.'