Niagara Gazette

August 19, 2011

Sabres must slash salary by season opener

By Bill Hoppe
Niagara Gazette

BUFFALO — Don’t expect dollar-for-dollar transactions from the Sabres.

General manager Darcy Regier, who’s in charge of trimming an NHL-high $67,895,357 payroll, said this week, “It’s not even money in, money out. It’s money out.”

The Sabres, a whopping $3,595,357 above the $64.3 million salary cap, according to capgeek.com, have until opening night to get under.

There are obvious cap casualties. It’s widely believed winger Ales Kotalik ($3 million cap hit) and defenseman Shaone Morrisonn ($2.075) will be sent to the minors.

Regier, however, hopes no one goes to Rochester.

“Hopefully, we’re able to make some moves to address that prior to the start of the season,” Regier said.

Right now, the trade market is quiet, Regier said.

“I think we may see a little activity before training camp, we may see a little bit of activity in training camp in the event of maybe clubs not being satisfied or injuries,” Regier said. “But it certainly has slowed down.”

The wild offseason spending likely means winger Mike Grier, a key veteran for two seasons, won’t return. The 36-year-old strongly indiciated in April he could retire. He now appears to be leaning toward playing a 15th season.

Regier said he’s had conversations with Grier’s agent, Jay Fee.

“He would like to continue his career,” Regier said. “Unfortunately, where we are cap-wise it’s prohibitive right now.”