Sabres' Briere awarded one-year, $5M contract

Updated: July 23, 2006, 7:53 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Buffalo Sabres captain Daniel Briere was awarded a one-year, $5 million contract by an arbitrator Sunday.

Daniel Briere

Briere earned $1.938 million last season, when he had 58 points in 48 games and added 19 points in 18 playoff games. If the Sabres accept the arbitrator's ruling, Briere will become the team's highest paid player, surpassing fellow co-captain Chris Drury's $3.15 million.

The 28-year-old Briere is one of an NHL-high 10 Buffalo players who filed for salary arbitration this summer. The Sabres settled one in advance Sunday, signing Ales Kotalik to a multiyear deal.

Kotalik had career highs in goals (25) and points (62). He was scheduled to have his arbitration case heard on Tuesday.

Briere's award continues a trend that has seen the Sabres payroll increase significantly since the end of this season. A small-market team, Buffalo reached the Eastern Conference finals with a payroll of around $29 million, about $10 million under the salary cap that will rise to $44 million for next season.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press