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Clock ticking for Hank and Toni

We're two days away from the start of the free agency period and it's likely that Sabres defensemen Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman will be testing the market. GM Darcy Regier certainly set up fans for that eventuality with his comments following the draft Saturday in Los Angeles.  The salary cap is going up to $59.5 million -- bet the Sabres never had that figure on their radar in their planning the last few years! -- and Lydman and Tallinder both might now be $4 million a year players.

The Sabres, of course, remain interested in both players but the best-case scenario is probably that they find a way to keep one or the other. 

Tallinder's agent, Don Meehan, said negotiations with the Sabres are far from closed in this email comment to The News this morning: "We may very well have further discussions with Buffalo before July 1 and even after." Meehan, however, did sound a more ominous note when he seconded Reiger's notion by saying, "It is helpful that the cap will be over 59 million so I believe the market for Henrik will be healthy."

Lydman's agent, Larry Kelly, has yet to respond to phone and e-mail inquiries from The News. 

It's a decent free-agent market for defenseman, as this story illustrates. If the Sabres lose both of their incumbents, it would nice to see them try to get involved with the likes of Sergei Gonchar, Paul Martin or Anton Volchenkov. But that, of course, would be the kind of big-ticket item they normally don't shoot for. We'll see. Have your say in our poll below.

---Mike Harrington


NHL free agency | Sabres | Sabres front office
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |