TORONTO (LGS) — The Buffalo Sabres and Derek Roy avoided arbitration Friday morning by agreeing to a six-year, $24 million deal that will average the center $4,000,000 per season.
The deal was struck in Toronto where the two parties were prepared to make their cases in front of an NHL arbitrator.
Last July, the 24-year-old center agreed to the Sabres' qualifying offer that earned him $627,000 last season.
In 2006-07, he finished with a career-high 63 points in 75 games while also finishing fifth-best in the league with a +37 rating. In 16 playoff games, the Ottawa-native finished with two goals and five assists.
Roy spent all of last season as the center for Sabres' leading goal scorer Thomas Vanek who inked a seven-year, $50 million deal earlier this month.
Roy was Buffalo's second round (32nd overall) selection in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. In 194 NHL games, Roy has notched 48 goals and 80 assists for a total of 128 points. In 34 NHL playoff games, the center has contributed seven goals and 15 assists.
''Derek is a solid young player who will only continue to improve,'' said Sabres' General Manager Darcy Regier in a released statement. ''He will play an increased role for our club, and we look forward to having such a quality player in our organization for many years to come.''
With Roy under contract, the Sabres cap hit for next season is currently at $45,255,590, which is $5,044,410 below the NHL limit of $50.3 million.
Nathan Paetsch remains the lone free agent the Sabres have yet to sign. The RFA defenseman is scheduled to go to arbitration on Thursday, August 2nd unless both sides can agree to a deal beforehand.