I caught up with Darcy Regier today, and the quality phone chat with the Sabres general manager had several highlights regarding players:
*Regier expects restricted free agent Drew Stafford under contract in Buffalo when training camp opens next weekend.
"I spoke with his agent yesterday, and we continue to work on it," Regier said. "It’s cordial, amicable. Everyone is trying to work toward getting an agreement done, and we’ll do everything we can to get him signed prior to training camp. That’s certainly the direction we’re working in."
*Adam Mair was forced to undergo hip surgery that will cause him to miss the beginning of the regular season only after a minor problem ballooned while Mair worked toward training camp.
"It’s something that just got progressively worse over the course of summer as he trained," Regier said. "It got to a point where the medical staff determined they needed to go in and have a look, and upon doing that they corrected it. But it looks now that he’ll be out a minimum of six weeks.
"It was in a very mild form, and we were hopeful that he would be able to improve and he’d be able to work through it. But as can happen that wasn’t the case."
*Mark Mancari, a restricted free agent, is interested in finding a new home. The big winger has been in Buffalo's minor-league system the past four seasons, but he's aware there's a logjam at the forward position with the big club. Mancari has lobbied for a chance to play somewhere in the NHL.
"We’ve worked on that, but to no success, and so we’ll continue," Regier said. "We’d love to have him as part of the organization and have him in training camp, but right now we don’t have a contract."
*Tyler Ennis, one of the Sabres' two first-round picks in 2008, is expected to leave Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League and join the Sabres' organization.
"He’ll come to camp and we’ll work on his contract, but the expectation is that he’ll turn pro and not return to junior this year," Regier said.