Goalie Biron wins $2.8M deal in arbitration

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres added $1.3 million to
their payroll by re-signing forward J.P. Dumont and goaltender
Martin Biron on Monday.

Dumont, the team's third-leading scorer, avoided arbitration by
signing a one-year, $2.1 million deal with a $700,000 raise.

Meanwhile, an NHL arbitrator awarded Biron a $600,000 raise in a
one-year contract for $2.8 million.

Defenseman Brad Brown avoided arbitration by agreeing to a
one-year $700,000 contract.

Biron was forced to share starting duties with backup Mika
Noronen until January. Then, he started in 26 of Buffalo's last 32
games, going 16-8-1 and finishing with a 26-18-5 record.

It was his sixth NHL season and third since taking over as
Buffalo's starter after Dominik Hasek left. He had a 2.52
goals-against average.

Biron said a five-hour arbitration hearing allowed him to learn
what the Sabres thought of him. He said the Sabres were fair in
outlining his strengths and areas for improvement, such as playing
more consistently and helping the team reach the playoffs.

"I think I got a lot out of it. It wasn't a slap across the
face," Biron said. "It's time for me to take the bull by the
horns and take this group of guys to the playoffs."

The Sabres have missed the playoffs three straight seasons.

Dumont finished with 22 goals and 31 assists -- one short of
career high for points in his first season with Buffalo. He also
was the Sabres captain in January as part of coach Lindy Ruff's
monthly rotation.

Brown, acquired in a deal with Minnesota in March, took a
$50,000 pay-cut, but his contract includes a clause that will pay
him the full amount even if he's sent to the minors.

Noted for his physical style, Brown had two assists in 13 games
with Buffalo and finished with three assists in 43 games.

Daniel Briere, who led the team in scoring last season, is the
last Buffalo player scheduled for arbitration on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Dmitri Kalinin remains the Sabres' most high-profile
player unsigned.