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Sabres are paying the price of success now

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10-15-2011, 12:07 PM
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Sabres are paying the price of success now

"For years, we were used to Buffalo not being overly high in the salaries, but still being competitive," Penguins winger Steve Sullivan said Friday. "Now, the new owner wants a winner and is going to try to spend to give themselves the best chance to win."

While upgrading the work environment can have a positive impact on any team, it's the enhanced payroll that is most promising for the Sabres.
With Pegula's blessing -- or perhaps insistence -- Buffalo's payroll is flirting with the league's salary-cap ceiling, reportedly coming in somewhere north of $64.2 million.

The Penguins are believed to be sitting about $1 million below that.

The Sabres overtook them by trading for Regehr ($4.02 million cap hit) and signing Ehrhoff ($4 million) and Leino ($4.5 million) as free agents just a few months after acquiring Boyes ($4 million) at the trade deadline.

While Boyes and Leino add offensive depth, Regehr and Ehrhoff are the marquee acquisitions.

Ehrhoff, the former Vancouver defenseman lured to Buffalo by a $10 year, $40 million contract, has good offensive skills and can quarterback a power play, while Regehr is a shutdown specialist with superb intangibles.

"You add those two defensemen to any hockey club, and they're going to make a difference," said Sullivan, who saw a lot of both while playing in Nashville.

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