<
>

Sabres' Briere to have arbitration hearing Thursday

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Buffalo Sabres center Daniel Briere will
have his arbitration case heard in Toronto on Thursday, the first
scheduled day of proceedings.

Briere heads a list of 10 Buffalo players who opted to have
their 2006-07 salary decided by an arbitrator. All of those
restricted free agents declined one-year qualifying offers.

Briere, who made $1.938 million last season, is the team's
co-captain. He had 25 goals and 58 points in 48 games during an
injury-riddled campaign. He missed 32 games because of an abdominal
problem.

The 28-year-old could be in for a big payday. The Chicago
Blackhawks recently reached a three-year, $18 million deal with
forward Martin Havlat, who has similar career numbers. Briere has
241 points in 290 games over his last four seasons.

Players from 23 teams have elected salary arbitration, and
hearings will run through Aug. 4. A team can continue to negotiate
with the players up to the hearing date to avoid arbitration.

The 10 Sabres filing for arbitration represent the most of any
team in the league.