D Paetsch, C Roy accept qualifying offers from Sabres

BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) - The Buffalo Sabres slowly but surely are getting their house in order.

After beginning the offseason with a total of 22 restricted free agents, the Sabres reduced the number to 16 on Friday, when they announced center Derek Roy and defenseman Nathan Paetsch accepted their one-year qualifying offers.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Roy made $782,000 with Buffalo last season, while Paetsch spent the majority of the campaign with Rochester of the American Hockey League.

Roy and Paetsch join goaltender Martin Biron, defenseman Brian Campbell and enforcer Andrew Peters as players the Sabres have gotten under contract since they became free agents on July 1. Left wing Taylor Pyatt, also a restricted free agent, was traded to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.

A second-round pick in 2001, Roy appeared in 70 games with Buffalo in 2005-06, registering 18 goals and 28 assists. The 23-year-old added five tallies and 15 points in 18 postseason contests.

Paetsch, 23, made his NHL debut this past campaign, notching an assist in his only game of action during the regular season. The Saskatchewan native, who recorded 11 goals and 50 points in 72 contests with Rochester, also played in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference finals against the eventual Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes due to injuries on Buffalo’s blue line.

The Sabres on Friday also agreed to terms with defenseman Andrej Sekera on a three-year contract.

Sekera, 20, has spent the past two seasons with Owen Sound of the Ontario Hockey League, scoring 21 goals and 55 points in 51 games in 2005-06. A native of the Czech Republic, Sekera was a third-round pick in the 2004 draft.

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Updated Friday, Jul 14, 2006