'''We're very open,'' Regier said, about making a deal before the draft, held June 21-22, in Nashville, Tenn. ''We'd be more than happy to draft at No. 5, but if there's an opportunity to get something that's going to help us both next year and in the future, we have to look at it.'''
'"That type of thing is difficult to see anybody go through," Ray said of LaFontaine's concussion woes. "But when you know the person and know how hard he worked to leave on his own terms, it was hard. He went through a lot."'
'Fuhr also played with Toronto, Buffalo, Los Angeles, St Louis and Calgary during a 19-year career. He retired following the 1999 season. Lafontaine had eight seasons at the New York Islanders, six with the Buffalo Sabres and then a year with the New York Rangers before suffering a career-ending head injury.'
'Only two players were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame and both are former Sabres. Pat LaFontaine and Grant Fuhr are the Class of 2003.'
'LaFontaine had 468 goals and 545 assists in 865 career games with the New York Islanders and Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres. He had his best season in 1992-93, totaling 53 goals and 95 assists. He was the third American with 1,000 career points.'
'Goaltender Grant Fuhr, a member of five Stanley Cup championship teams with the Edmonton Oilers, and center Pat Lafontaine were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday.'
'Forward Daniel Paille, one of two Buffalo Sabres' first-round picks in last year's draft, was invited on Tuesday to attend the Canadian National Junior Team development camp. Paille is one of 44 players invited to the camp, which will be held in Calgary, Alberta, in August, and help determine the team's roster for next year's world junior championships in Helsinki, Finland.'
'According to a preliminary financial overview covering both the team and HSBC Arena, obtained by Business First, the Sabres lost $39.3 million during the 2001-2002 season and are projected to lose $26.7 million during its current fiscal year, which ends June 30…The March projections show the team losing $6.1 million for the 2003-2004 season. Losses are projected to drop to $4.3 million by the 2005-2006.'
'Last summer, the Sabres and Adelphia signed a five-year agreement that would keep the team's broadcasts on Empire and WNSA. According to documents obtained by Business First, the Sabres receive $6.5 million per season in exchange for those broadcast rights. The deal included a clause that would allow the Sabres or Adelphia to opt out after a year. The team's new management is opting to look around, and has until July 1 to make a decision. Jim Leahy, the team's new vice president of sales and marketing, confirmed that the Sabres have had contact with both the YES and MSG networks.'
'As part of its five-year affiliation agreement with the AHL's Binghamton Senators, Ottawa will host Buffalo at 7:05 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19 at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.'
'In other Sabres news, the team announced it will hold its fourth annual season-ticket holder sale. Season-ticket holders can enjoy up to 50 percent savings on merchandise at the Buffalo Sabres Store locations in HSBC Arena and in the Amherst Pepsi Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Fans will be able to meet current and former players Saturday in the HSBC Arena location only.'
'"When Francois wants to change jobs, that'll be in his ability, at whatever time, but he's the goaltending coach for this hockey team right now."'
'A weekend story in the Buffalo News cited the possibility of the Sabres adding Allaire to their staff, and quoted Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff calling Allaire "the hot person right now." The story said the club would likely seek permission from Murray to speak to Allaire after the Stanley Cup Finals. "They don't have to bother calling," Murray said. "They're not going to get permission to speak to him. We're not going to share him with anybody."'
'I haven't come across a season-ticket holder yet who, when informed the Sabres may play a few regular-season games in Rochester, hasn't responded with a variation of "yippee!"'
'The Sabres could very well be among many teams contending quickly if NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman earns a decisive victory in the fight over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. It will depend on whether Buffalo's core of prospects matures into good NHL players and whether they develop top-notch goaltending. Owner Tom Golisano appears willing to make the necessary financial commitment.'