Sabres agree to terms with C Connolly

BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) - The Buffalo Sabres dodged another arbitration hearing Friday, agreeing to terms with center Tim Connolly on a multi-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.

Connolly, one of 12 Sabres to file for arbitration this summer, was scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday. Buffalo also has avoided the procedure with defensemen Brian Campbell, Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman, right wings Ales Kotalik and Jason Pominville and left wing Andrew Peters.

Right wings Maxim Afinogenov and J.P. Dumont and centers Paul Gaustad and Adam Mair still are scheduled for arbitration hearings. Co-captain Daniel Briere received a one-year, $5 million award from an arbitrator on Sunday, a ruling in which the Sabres have yet to decide to accept or decline, which would allow the center to become an unrestricted free agent.

After missing the entire 2003-04 season with post-concussion symptoms, Connolly appeared in 63 games in 2005-06, recording 16 goals and a career-high 55 points. Despite being sidelined for 19 games with injuries, the 25-year-old finished second on the team in assists (39) and fifth in scoring.

Connolly added five goals and six assists in eight postseason contests before suffering another concussion in Game Two of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Ottawa.

“After discussions with Tim and our medical staff, we fully expect Tim to be completely healthy,” Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier said.

Drafted fifth overall by the New York Islanders in 1995, Connolly has registered 62 goals and 138 assists in 388 career games with the Isles and Sabres.

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Updated Friday, Jul 28, 2006