'“I just think you had to realize that in some way, shape or form there was going to be some type of a cap or something,'' Ray said. “When you knew it was going to have to be, why not sit and work with it?'''
Archives for July 14, 2005
'The salary cap is expected to be between $37 million and $39 million, but it will also include a salary floor of about $24 million. Teams previously drowning in red ink now know that 54 percent of league revenues will be tied to player costs. Players will get their money, but it will be a smaller, more reasonable amount given hockey's place among major professional sports. Conversely, teams will be forced to spend.'
'"It's about time," Sabres winger Andrew Peters said. "A deal could've been made back in February, but we stuck by our guns and they went ahead and canceled the season. I don't think that was necessary. But a deal's done now, so let's just be grateful for that."'
'"I felt all along we could have been pro-active," Patrick, the Sabres' veteran defenseman, said shortly before word came that the NHL and its union had agreed to a new, six-year deal. "Knowing the outcome, I realize all of this could have been pre-empted, and I think the sport needs to grow from here."'
'That puts a total of 48 balls in the barrel with New York, Buffalo, Columbus and Pittsburgh all having a 6.25 percent chance of landing the first pick. Anaheim, Atlanta, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville and Phoenix all have two balls and a 4.17 percent chance. The remaining 16 teams have one ball each and a 2.08 percent chance.'
'Sabres Goalie Martin Biron on getting back to playing hockey: "I'm really excited and I'm happy that it's done. I mean we all knew it was coming, but we didn't know when it was going to be here and that was the main issue. But I'm really excited. I was just saying this morning to my family and friends that I can't wait to see what the schedules going to be like and the first day of training camp and see the guys."'
'"I think we've all had the idea for the last month or so that something would happen soon," said Buffalo Sabres forward Mike Grier, a Holliston native who now resides in Hopkinton. "So it's a little bit of a relief to have it finally happen." Grier wasn't thrilled with the end result — a cap system — or the fact that a full season was lost in getting to that disappointing result, but like most players, he was resigned to that inevitable conclusion. "Since February, we've all had an idea what was going to happen, that we would get a cap," said Grier. "It's just a shame it took missing a whole year to get to that."'
'"We're going to do what we announced a year ago. We're reducing season ticket prices on average by thirty percent," said Sabres Managing Partner Larry Quinn. When the team announced new ticket prices in July, 2004, they were the lowest in the league. "We're going to have variable pricing, so there are going to be games that are going to be priced for families. There will be seats that'll be ten to fifteen dollars. There will be seats downstairs, the best seat in the house will be 49 dollars for some of those games," said Quinn.'
'It all sounds good, but we'll believe it when we see it.'
'With a salary in the Fitzpatrick range, the Sabres may use Janik to replace James Patrick (unlikely to return at age 42) or Alexei Zhitnik should they be unable to sign their highest paid defenseman ($3.75 million).'