Three weeks ago, Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano and managing partner Larry Quinn warned fans the club wouldn't spend up to the salary cap again next season.
The ceiling is expected to rise from $44 million to at least $48 million, and their cautionary words that appeared in The Buffalo News about the difficulties of a small-market NHL team -- even a highly successful one -- led many to believe the payroll was about to recede.
Not so, Quinn told us Thursday.
At an HSBC Arena news conference to announce GM Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff had signed contract extensions, Quinn said the Sabres would spend MORE than they did last season, when they were closer to the salary cap than peanut butter gets to jelly.
"The budget that we're going to spend next year is more than the budget we spent this year," Quinn said. "So all the doom and gloom and worry that we're going to cut back … I understand the worries, but it's not going to happen."
Fears still are legitimate about losing either co-captain Chris Drury or Daniel Briere or leading goal scorer Thomas Vanek to outside offers the Sabres won't be capable of matching, but it won't be because the Sabres are slashing payroll.
"The one thing that we have to do is be responsible," Quinn said. "That doesn't meaning cheapening it. That doesn't mean reducing the player budget."