'Defenseman Rhett Warrener and forward Chris Gratton accepted qualifying offers from the Buffalo Sabres and agreed to one-year deals Wednesday. Defenseman Brian Campbell, who spent part of last season in the minors, also accepted his offer.'
'The Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday re-signed center Chris Gratton and defensemen Rhett Warrener and Brian Campbell. Terms were not disclosed.'
'Chris Gratton would like to negotiate a multi-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres. However, the 27-year-old from Brantford expects to sign a $2-million US, one-year qualifying offer from the Sabres today.'
'The young center on Tuesday agreed to accept the Buffalo Sabres' qualifying offer of one season at about $1.128 million. The salary figure is a 10 percent raise over the $1.025 he made in 2001-02.'
'You can promise, and deliver, honest value for honest pay and treat the people you deal with and who work for you the way you hope to be treated. Or you can go around trying to screw everybody. From most accounts, John Rigas built his empire the first way. The way most older, up-by-the-bootstraps entrepreneurs go about it. But he made three mistakes. He fathered sons. He sent them to Wharton and Harvard to learn the second management strategy. Then he gave them the keys.'
'The contract gives Connolly a 10 percent raise over the $1.025 million he made last season.'
'Asked by the Russian Sport-Express newspaper whether he might open the season with the Mocow team, Afinogenov said it all depends: "So far, my agent and the club haven't come even close.'
'Interestingly, many thought that Hamister was the leading candidate. But according to sources close to the situation, it appears that Basin has now taken the lead in completing a deal for the Sabres.'
'The commissioner has tried mightily to distance the value of the club from the Rigas meltdown at Adelphia. But with criminal charges and a Securities and Exchange investigation still pending, that will be little comfort to prospective buyers who are being asked to cough up $100 million (U.S.) for the club. Expect the NHL to carry the Sabres for a while longer while it gets the Rigas flu out of its system.'
'That lack of success on the ice, coupled with the ownership issue, has done nothing to help the team sell season tickets this summer. Katzman reports Canadian renewals are at 82 per cent while U.S. renewals are at 78 per cent. Last season, Canadians accounted for about 1,000 of the Sabres 8,400 season tickets. The league average for season tickets is in the 10,500 range.'
'Two Buffalo Sabres and the Excalibur Leisure Skills boat helped five impaired kids enjoy a slice of life as they took a fishing trip around Buffalo Harbor recently.'
'The chant started quietly but was quickly audible about 50 feet away.
"No goal! No goal! No goal!" We're not sure the commish heard it, though one sports staffer said Bettman could have responded with a taunt of his own: "No team! No team! No team!"'
'"I've done a lot of interviews, and I've talked about a lot of things I can bring to the table. That's why I've been offered the job in Buffalo. For me, to go back to Buffalo, an area my family really enjoyed and wants to be a part of, it's a nice situation."'
'A second-round draft pick by Winnipeg in 1981, Arniel played 11 NHL seasons with Winnipeg, Buffalo and Boston. He had 149 goals and 189 assists in 730 games.'
'While pleading with fans and sponsors to get behind the team, Bettman stressed that fans need not worry where money spent on the Sabres might end up. "The money that you spend in support of this club is not going to Adelphia and is not going to the Rigases," Bettman said. "All of the money will go to the operations of the Sabres. I want to assure people that your support of the franchise stays with the franchise."'