'"Long before they worry about Briere and Drury, they should sign those two guys. Don't let those guys go on the free market because there are always a half a dozen teams looking to add in one of those two areas," says Neale. "Hopefully for the sake of the Buffalo Sabres they can sign those two guys, but one of those crazy offers could land on one of their laps."'
Archives for May 21, 2007
‘”My first, my probably biggest wish right now would be to be a part of this team,” Briere said. “The Sabres, if they’re interested, they’re going to have the first chance. They’re going to have the best chance. And if that doesn’t work out, then we’ll start looking at different options.”‘
‘Zubrus isn’t sure if he’ll require surgery to repair damaged cartilage. He had an arthroscopic procedure on the same knee in the summer of 2005.’
‘This list takes into account both age and value. In the cathartic interest of sanity, here’s my 2007 NHL All-Unrestricted team (players who at press time are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1)…’
'Drury seems to give the Sabres more of what they ultimately were lacking this postseason — grit, determination, the ability to produce in the clutch. Just look at Game 5. He took a puck to the face in the third period and then returned in overtime after being stitched up. There just weren't enough like him, although the Sabres' future could still be exceptionally bright.'
'“I don’t think we lost the series tonight,” Sabres forward Jason Pominville said. “I think we may have lost it in the first couple games where we weren’t playing the way we were in the last couple.” Indeed, the Sabres played poorly through the first three games. How poorly is a matter of debate. But it’s clear Buffalo didn’t give the effort it takes to win a championship early in the series. With Saturday’s loss, they dropped all three home games. That’s why it really ended when Monday’s wretched performance spoiled Miller’s world-class goaltending.'
'“There’s a lot of disappointment right now, maybe we weren’t quite as good as we needed to be.”'
'This summer is shaping up to be another difficult one. Briere, Drury and Numminen spoke in vague terms about their contract situations — the injured Zubrus was unavailable to comment after the Game Five defeat — but Mair made his intentions clear. “My hope is that I’ll be back in Buffalo,” Mair said after getting eliminated from a conference final for the third time in his career. “That’s where my heart is, and that’s where I want to be. I don’t think it’s going to be too hard to get me.”'
'There’s not a winger on the team close to matching Zubrus’ work ethic and effectiveness along the boards. The Sabres need a couple more like him.'
'So will Buffalo fans recover from this latest loss? “For the fair-weather fan, there will be no difficulty dealing with this crushing setback,” said Melnick. “This fan has not invested heavily emotionally, psychologically or even physically. So if the team loses, this person can easily move on with his life.” The hard-core fan,” Melnick said, “is going to react to a crushing defeat more personally than the other end of the continuum. This fan has put more poker chips on the table. The hard-core fan has moved all his chips to the middle of the table, emotionally and psychologically.”'