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by Brian Wheeler / Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier announced today that the team has extended qualifying offers to all five of its restricted free agents.  The five restricted free agents are as follows:
  • Steve Bernier (RW)
  • Paul Gaustad (C)
  • Clarke MacArthur (LW)
  • Mark Mancari
  • Daniel Paille (LW)
By extending an offer, Buffalo retains the rights to each player and can match any offer extended to those players by other teams.  Under NHL rules, other teams are allowed to make offers to restricted free agents.  If the Sabres were to refuse to match the offer, they would be entitled to draft picks as compensation.

Buffalo matched a seven-year, $50 million offer sheet last summer that was extended to Thomas Vanek by the Edmonton Oilers.  At the time, Vanek was a restricted free agent who had been tendered a qualifying offer.

The Oilers would have owed Buffalo four first-round draft picks if they signed Vanek. Draft pick compensation is based on the offer's average annual salary. Four first-round picks is the maximum compensation, and required for any team that makes an offer of more than $5 million a year.

Five players from the Sabres 2007-08 team will become unrestricted free agents as of July 1, including Dmitri Kalinin, Teppo Numminen, Nolan Pratt, Michael Ryan and Jocelyn Thibault.
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