'Bartlett said that general managers' past reluctance to sign unrestricted players, for fear of driving up salaries, has lessened under the new CBA, which installed a salary cap. "Now a player can move from team to team, but you don't drive up the total salary pool," he said.'
Archives for July 6, 2007
'In two seasons with the Sabres, Vanek has 68 goals and 64 assists in 163 career games. He has also recorded eight goals and four assists in 26 career playoff games.'
'Vanek, who made $942,000 last season, finished fifth in the NHL in 2006-07 with 43 goals and 19th with 84 points while posting a league-best plus-47 rating. The fifth overall selection in the 2003 draft was in his second season with the Sabres.'
‘The Sabres stated in a press conference that they would not only match the offer, which means the restricted free agent will remain in Buffalo for the next seven years, but that they would not hesitate to employ the same move with the Oilers at some point in time.’
'"This is a deal that will send ripples through the marketplace," Steve Bartlett said. "I just feel this is the logical byproduct of a cap system. There is no reason why these players shouldn't receive offers."'
'Quinn said often during the press conference that the Sabres were prepared for this scenario. Regier said, "The reality is that the marketplace dictates the value and that the agent knew the best place was to go shopping for a contact. You can't blame the agent. It is was he was supposed to be doing. We fully forwarned Edmonton what we would do."'
‘The Oilers would have owed Buffalo four first-round draft picks if they signed Vanek.’
‘The deal will pay Vanek $5 million in the first two seasons, and $6.4 million in each of the following five seasons. The contract will also pay him a $5 million and $3 million signing bonus in the first two years.’
'Ryan apparently figures into the Sabres’ plans. The player acquired four years ago for captain Stu Barnes split time last season between Buffalo and Rochester in the AHL. He had three goals and two assists in 19 games with the Sabres and 28 goals and 23 assists in 50 games for the Americans. “Michael is a young player who is ready to play full-time at this level,” Regier said. “He continues to develop and will be an important part of our club next season.”'
'But the Sabres left Drury hanging for two weeks, and it cost them. They choked. They let the Sabres’ competitive soul get away. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but it will go down as Quinn’s failure. Anyone who has done business with Quinn knows he can be a bully. This was one time where the Sabres needed a bully to get the deal done. Now, they look the way they did when Golisano first set his eyes on the franchise: Like rank amateurs.'