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

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

Daniel Briere 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.