Adam Mair, whose seven-season run in Buffalo is the second longest among Sabres forwards, may be in his final hours with the club.
General Manager Darcy Regier announced this afternoon that Mair has been placed on waivers. He will remain on the waiver wire until noon Tuesday, with the other 29 teams free to claim the forward.
"We’ve just got extra forwards, and he’s not playing," Regier said in HSBC Arena. "He’s in a contract year, and it’s an opportunity for him to hopefully get a chance elsewhere."
Regier said he tried trading the 30-year-old but could not find any takers. Because of the interest shown by teams during the talks, however, there's a chance Mair could be claimed.
"There’s interest, and I think people recognize that he’s an NHL player," Regier said. "The situation you get into is ... there’s a lot of players. I think teams have extra players signed. That will play in with whether or not he clears or gets picked up."
If Mair isn't claimed, the Sabres have two options. He and his $775,000 salary could be sent to the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League, or the Sabres could do nothing and keep him on the team. Mair has played just three games after playing 72 or more each of the past three seasons.
"If he goes unclaimed, we’ll make that decision tomorrow, but nothing may change, quite frankly," Regier said. "But again, we’ve made no decision on that, pending the noon tomorrow deadline."
Mair, who joined the Sabres for the 2002-03 season, trails only Tim Connolly in service time among forwards.
"It's not really surprising in a sense that I wasn't playing," Mair told The Buffalo News. "I understand that it's a business. For me, I guess it's just wait and see what the next 24 hours hold. It's something fresh and new in my career that I haven't been through. I'll just wait it out, and if I get claimed then I get an opportunity to go play somewhere, and if not I'll either stay here or go down and help Portland.
"I'd like to continue to help this team. If I can, that'd be great. This is where I want to be."
Regier said the waiver option has increased for teams this season because of the number of players under contract.
"If you’re trying to make adjustments on your team, it’s one way to try to do it," Regier said. "In our case, it’s just the number of forwards we have. We have a lot of forwards.
"It’s difficult," Regier added. "He’s a quality guy, and he’s been terrific through the process."