WGR reported that the Sabres re-signed Drew Stafford, but Buffalowins.com has learned (Always wanted to say that) that the amount of money Stafford is getting is on par with what Connolly made on his last contract, which was 4.5 million a year. I still don't know the years, but if I hear about it, you'll be the first to know. So, forget the dreams of 3-4 million bucks a year for Stafford. If you doubt me, remember, I broke the Brian McCutcheon news a day before it was announced. Stay tuned for more updates.
UPDATE II: My sources have also told me that we shouldn't be surprised if Tim Connolly gets re-upped by the Sabres. Reason being, there aren't many UFA centers on the open market.
Update III: Mike Harrington reports Stafford's deal is a 4-year, $16-million.
Mind of Joe: I like the deal. I've been saying since the whole Stafford debate came up that he was going to get paid nicely. Go back to the deals that Pomer, Roy and Max signed under Regier and you'll see the pattern. Stafford was going to get his 4-million bucks. As Buffalo fans, sometimes, I think we tend to be a little cheap when it comes to figuring out what a player should make. I think it has to do with us being burned by all the contract extensions Darcy has given out over the years.
Anyways, to me, this deal is all about Pegula power. I can't remember the last time Darcy signed someone this early and at that price. Normally, he'd re-sign Mike Grier and Adam Mair for there stupid 1.4 million dollar deals at or around draft time. This is a nice precedent that the Regier/Pegula era is making. I assure you, I don't think this deal gets made that quickly under the old regime. Now, there's a slight catch, if this deal hinders the Sabres in making any sort of big splash -via trade/free agent market- it kind of tempers my enthusiasm. However, I think they will be active.
As for the Connolly news...UGH! Why would they entertain the thought of this? Just let the guy go. He hates it here. Look, could I handle Connolly as our 4th line center? Yes. However, if Darcy mentions he's a top 20 center, I'll vomit and shut down Buffalowins.com. Anyways, my source says it's a real strong possibility for #19 to return.