Sabres re-sign D Kalinin to two-year contract

BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) - Payroll concerns caused the Buffalo Sabres to pass on re-signing right wing J.P. Dumont. But they did not let Russian defenseman Dmitri Kalinin get away.

The Sabres on Wednesday re-signed Kalinin to a two-year contract worth $4 million.

Buffalo had a payroll of approximately $29 million last season but still advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, where they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games.

But the cost of re-signing restricted free agents moved the payroll closer to the $44 million salary cap for 2006-07. The biggest increase went to center Daniel Briere, who was awarded a one-year, $5 million contract in arbitration after making $1.93 million last season.

That caused the Sabres to turn away Dumont, the talented right wing who was awarded a one-year, $2.9 million contract in arbitration.

With only $7 million to work with under the cap, Sabres general manager Darcy Regier wanted to use that money on Kalinin and starting goaltender Ryan Miller - both restricted free agents. Miller has yet to re-sign but Kalinin is in the fold for the next two years.

Kalinin, 26, had two goals and 16 assists with a team-high plus-minus rating of plus-14 last season. He had two assists in eight playoff games before suffering a broken foot in Game Two of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Ottawa on May 8.

A 1998 first-round pick, Kalinin has 26 goals and 82 assists in 338 career games with Buffalo. He posted career highs of 10 goals and 24 assists in 2003-04.

Follow Yahoo! Sports' NHL coverage on Twitter.
Updated Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006