Sabres' Peca Asks To Be Traded

Thursday, October 12th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — With no resolution to contract talks in sight, Buffalo Sabres captain Michael Peca formally asked to be traded.

``This isn't something I want to drag on for a long time,'' Peca said at a Thursday news conference. ``If it was important to get done, it would have been done.''

Asked if he would ever play for the Sabres again, Peca said: ``I think the views I have today are where I'm at, if that answers your question.''

Peca and his agent, Don Meehan, both credited the Sabres for handling negotiations professionally but Peca said the two sides have reached the point where ``we've agreed to disagree.''

He said it would be up to the Sabres to determine what they will do with his captaincy. The Sabres have been using three alternate captains — Jason Woolley, Rob Ray and Doug Gilmour.

Meehan said he told the team two days ago that Peca would ask for a trade.

The Sabres, in Edmonton to open a three-game road trip, have not returned phone messages.

Reports said Peca dropped his demands from $4 million to $3.5 million a year, which would still more than double the $1.65 million he made last season. The Sabres, who waited until a week before training camp opened to begin negotiations, are reportedly offering Peca between $2.25 million and $2.4 million a year.

This isn't the first time Peca has asked for a trade. During his last contract talks in October 1997, Peca threatened to play for the Canadian National Team, then asked to be traded before signing a three-year deal.

Peca is coming off a subpar season in which he managed just 20 goals and 41 points in 73 games. In 1997, he was named the NHL's best defensive forward, and in 1998-99 helped lead the Sabres' drive to the Stanley Cup finals.

The Sabres, who opened the season 2-0 for the first time in five seasons, also have yet to sign restricted free agent backup goalie Martin Biron.