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.
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