BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Co-captain Daniel Briere has broken off negotiations with the Buffalo Sabres, deciding to test the NHL free agent market when it opens Sunday.
"We've made the decision to go to July 1 and sit down and seek all options at that point," Briere's agent Pat Brisson told The Associated Press on Friday.
The decision, which came a day after Briere traveled to Los Angeles to meet with Brisson, will make the player one of the most sought-after free agents. He's expected to attract offers above $6 million, coming off a career-high season in which he finished 10th in the NHL with 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists).
But Brisson didn't rule out the possibility of Briere re-signing with Buffalo.
"We haven't closed the door on Buffalo at all," Brisson said. "There's no animosity; there's a lot of respect there."
The Sabres were not immediately available for comment.
Buffalo stands to lose both co-captains this offseason, with Chris Drury also eligible to become a free agent Sunday.
The Sabres waited more than a month after their season ended before finally making Briere an offer Wednesday. The offer was reportedly a 5-year, $25 million deal.
The offer was considered low, matching the one-year, $5 million contract the nine-year veteran center received in arbitration last summer. The Sabres offer was similar to the deal Briere sought a year ago.
Brisson declined to comment on the Sabres' proposal and wouldn't say whether the two sides exchanged counteroffers.
"I believe it was an offer made in good faith from the Sabres," Brisson said.
He also refused to criticize the Sabres for waiting to make an offer.
"Each team has their own philosophy in how they approach each situation, and I guess the Sabres decided to approach it this way," Brisson said. "We're not disappointed. We're indifferent at this point."
The Sabres are coming off a season in which the team won a league-leading and franchise-record 53 games and scored a league-leading 308 goals. But Buffalo was eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals for a second consecutive year.