'Hecht would have become an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming NHL season.'
'Jay McKee has yet to accept his qualifying offer and continues to negotiate with the club.'
'The 28-year-old Hecht enjoyed the best season of his career in 2003-04, scoring 15 goals and registering 37 assists in 64 games. The German native finished fifth on the team in scoring and led the team with a rating of plus-17.'
'Veteran defenseman Jay McKee was the only Buffalo player not to accept. He is trying to negotiate a long-term deal. “This is not saying that the QO will not at one point still be accepted,'' McKee wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “We'll just wait and see where the negotiations go.'''
'Since current owner Tom Golisano purchased the team the Sabres have been able to sign the majority of their players well before training camp opens, this is a very good trend indeed.'
'The scheme is an attempt to cash in on demand by fans to see certain teams while trying to encourage fans to come to the arena for more… shall we say less desirable games.'
'Hecht's contract is worth more than $6 million total, a significant raise over the $1.6 million he was due next season — his last before being eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.'
'Also, the following 10 players have accepted qualifying offers from the team: Daniel Briere, J.P. Dumont, Maxim Afinogenov, Henrik Tallinder, Tim Connolly, Jeff Jillson, Milan Bartovic, Ales Kotalik, Jason Pominville, Paul Gaustad and Michael Ryan. Jay McKee has not yet accepted his qualifying offer, but continues to negotiate with the team.'
'Individual game tickets will go on sale starting Saturday, September 17th at 9 a.m.'
'Among the "gold games" is the Monday, Oct. 10 contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins, mainly due to the presence of superstar Mario Lemieux and first overall NHL draft choice Sidney Crosby. All four Toronto games – Nov. 11, March 3, March 16 and April 16 – are in the gold package, as is a Nov. 25 game against Montreal, a Feb. 4 contest against Ottawa and an April 7 game against the Philadelphia Flyers.'
'Forwards Daniel Briere, J.P. Dumont, Jochen Hecht, Maxim Afinogenov and Ales Kotalik, and defensemen Jay McKee and Henrik Tallinder remained unsigned. According to the NHL Players' Association Web site, center Tim Connolly ($1,036,900) and defenseman Jeff Jillson ($833,910) signed their qualifiers over the weekend, but the Sabres have yet to confirm that. The Sabres retain the rights to any of the players who do not sign their offers, but a new contract needs to be negotiated.'
'The Sabres may end up shedding the black and red uniforms. Ridding themselves of the red in the financial books may be another story, no matter how cheap their payroll is, because only a grape kool-aid loving Stepford would line up for tickets for this crap.'
'Who will start remains to be seen, but the Buffalo Sabres have all three goaltenders under contract.'
‘Kevin Sylvester, the former WGR-AM morning host, will host “The Shootout.” Mike Robitaille, the “HH” regular who worked with Josh Mora (now in Chicago) two seasons ago, returns with a former Sabre to be named later. If Rob Ray retires, he would be an obvious option.’
'Buffalo can ship either of the two out — preferably Biron, since he makes more money, for either an inflated draft pick or the veteran scoring presence they lack. If not, they can go shopping in the free-agent flea market that has Teemu Selanne, Peter Bondra or even former Sabre Alex Mogilny.'