'The move Wednesday was hardly surprising. Rasmussen had become increasingly annoyed with his role on the fourth line last season while the Sabres had become frustrated over his lack of production.'
'The Sabres are struggling to maintain their season-ticket base, which has eroded from 8,100 at the end of last season to about 6,000.'
'He acknowledged falling short of expectations in Buffalo, where he became the target of media criticism. He has been bothered by shoulder problems the last two years. "I think everybody, including myself, expected more from me," he said. "If there was anything negative written about me, I earned it. It's just a situation where [the Sabres] are going in a different direction now."'
'Rasmussen led the Sabres with 207 hits two seasons ago and was second with 164 last season.'
'National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman will be in Buffalo Thursday to provide an update on the status of the Sabres.'
'Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier wasn't available to comment on whether the trade had anything to do with the team's financial problems, Sabres spokesman Mike Gilbert said. NHL spokesman Frank Brown said the trade was approved by the league.'
'Rasmussen, 25, had eight goals and 11 assists in 69 games for the Sabres last season — his fifth with in Buffalo. He had career-high totals of 12 goals and 19 assists in 82 games in the 2000-2001 season. In 281 career games, he has 33 goals and 46 assists.'
'A fourth-round selection by Toronto in 1997, Mair had a goal and two assists in 24 games over two seasons with the Maple Leafs before being dealt to Los Angeles in March 2001 for defenseman Aki Berg.'
'"Erik will upgrade our team speed and size, and his physical style of play makes him difficult to play against," said Taylor. "He has an offensive upside and we feel strongly that with his size, speed and talent, he has a chance to be a legitimate power forward in the NHL."'
'NHL spokeswoman Bernadette Mansur said Wednesday, "It would be inappropriate for us to comment."'
'Two other former Adelphia executives — James R. Brown, 40, the former vice president of finance, and Michael C. Mulcahey, 45, the former director of international reporting — were arrested in Pennsylvania on the same charges.'
'The NHL took over control of the Sabres last month, helping clear the way for the sale of the team. The arrangement, which could continue into next season, follows an agreement with Rigas, who remains owner of the team in title only.'
'John Rigas and his sons — former Chief Financial Officer Timothy and former executive vice president of operations Michael — were arrested early Wednesday morning and are expected to be presented in Manhattan federal court later today.'
'John Rigas, the 77-year-old founder and former chairman and chief executive of Adelphia Communications, the bankrupt US cable television company, was arrested along with sons Timothy and Michael Rigas on Wednesday for conspiracy to commit securities fraud.'
'"Arbitration is a fact of life. Whatever happens, happens. Right now I'm looking forward to the upcoming season."'