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A few years ago Darcy Regier faced some important decisions when addressing his pending unrestricted free agents. The first test was Drury and Briere then a season later it was Brian Campbell. The final test came when he matched the Edmonton Oilers offer sheet for Vanek.

Looking at back at all the scenerio's Darcy paid the one guy that was worth the money he signed for. Vanek is a pure goal scorer who is only now entering his prime. Certain GM's would throw in excess of 8 million dollars his way just to get a pure goal scorer. Although the error was to let Vanek get restricted so an offer could be made.
I remember they were arguing over 5 million. Imagine him getting a long term deal for 5 million a year now.

Just for fun I'll throw the big salaries the other players receieved and show you how it would have effected the salary situation.

Without Briere, Drury and Campbell the Sabres current salary is 47, 625,000.
Add in these numbers!

Brian Campbell D 7,142,875
Danny Briere C 6,500,000
Chris Drury C 7,050,000

Total 20,692,857

That pushes the total to over 68 million. Darcy did what he had to do and GM's throughout the NHL have realized they need to lock up their talent early and extend it over huge length contracts. I can't wait to see how many long term deals need to be bought out like Alexei Yashin.

The Chicago Blackhawks will go through this same scenario except their players will be restricted free agents, lets see how that plays out.

Thomas Vanek LW 7,142,857
Jason Pominville RW 5,300,000
Tim Connolly C 4,500,000
Derek Roy C 4,000,000
Jochen Hecht LW 3,525,000
Paul Gaustad C 2,300,000
Daniel Paille LW 1,125,000
Adam Mair C 758,333
Drew Stafford RW RFA
Clarke MacArthur LW RFA*
Patrick Kaleta RW RFA

Craig Rivet D 3,500,000
Toni Lydman D 2,875,000
Henrik Tallinder D 2,562,500
Steve Montador D 1,550,000
Nathan Paetsch D 850,000
Joe DiPenta D 550,000
Andrej Sekera D RFA

Ryan Miller G 6,250,000
Patrick Lalime G 1,000,000

Salary Cap Payroll 47,625,000
Filed Under:   sabres   buffalo   chicago   blackhawks   salary   salary cap  
July 15, 2009 1:00 PM ET | Delete
Why is this posted in the Avalanche section?
July 15, 2009 1:03 PM ET | Delete
There was no "test" with Briere. The Sabres wanted Drury and lost him when he jumped ship....Briere was never part of the plans for the future. Campbell was not even worth the 5/25 contract they threw at him. They locked in the right guy, Vanek, with an assist to EDM for the offer sheet. Players with Vanek's abilities don't come around to often. Now if only the Sabres brass could only add some pieces to help Vanek and Miller...and thats where we are still today.
July 15, 2009 3:56 PM ET | Delete
July 15, 2009 8:46 PM ET | Delete
they didnt pay for those guys but over payed for hecht tallinder lydman connolly pominville and will probably for stafford
July 15, 2009 9:06 PM ET | Delete
July 15, 2009 9:06 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted
July 15, 2009 10:56 PM ET | Delete
Why is it every Sabre fan that justifies losing Drury and Briere, uses current salaries of those two. Neither of those two knew they would get those contract offers before they hit the market. The contract Drury verbally agreed to in the September previous to him becoming a free agent was approximately for $5 mil per year. Both wanted to stay and play together. Sabres lost every hand of cards they played that year and basically have spiraled downward ever since.
July 16, 2009 6:33 AM ET | Delete
Briere wanted 5 mill per for a long contract to stay in Buffalo. He`s worth at least that much. Regier messed up big time there.
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