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Satan a free agent after Sabres decline option

Miroslav Satan became an unrestricted free agent Sunday after
the Buffalo Sabres declined to make a qualifying offer to the
team's six-time scoring leader.

By not qualifying Satan's $4 million contract for next season,
general manager Darcy Regier said the Sabres can now use that money
to address other needs, particularly on defense.
Another factor making Satan expendable was the Sabres' depth at
forward -- a group that includes several young prospects projected
to be ready next season.
"What it means is that you make choices," Regier said. "And
the choices are that we have forwards, and we want to look at using
the available resources as a means of bolstering our defense if
possible."
Regier also noted that the team has depth at forward, including
some up-and-coming prospects that could be ready to play in the NHL
this season. That made it easier to part ways with Satan.
"I have a lot of respect for Miro. He's been a very good player
for our organization," Regier said. "But we also believe that we
have a number of young players that are really knocking at the
door."
The NHL's free agency period opens Monday.
The Sabres also declined to make a qualifying offer to tough-guy
forward Eric Boulton, a four-year veteran.
Satan, who represents himself in negotiations, was not available
for comment.
Satan, a nine-year NHL veteran, was acquired by the Sabres from
Edmonton late in the 1996-97 season.
In 2003-04, Satan led Buffalo with 29 goals and finished second
with 57 points -- the only season he didn't lead the Sabres in that
category.
A three-time 30-goal scorer, Satan had 224 goals and 232 assists
for 456 points during his tenure in Buffalo. His ranks seventh on
the team's career goals list and 10th in points.