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SABRES WIN

This is an open letter to Michael Peca:

Congratulations on finally signing your new $20 million, 5-year contract. It's been a long time without a contract but you finally have one that I'm sure you feel is paying you what you're worth. The Islanders are paying you an average of $4 million per year whereas the Sabres only offered you slightly more than $3 million per year (using their last offer that you never publicly recognized) or just under $3 million per year if you use their last offer that you publicly recognized.

Many fans called the local "sports talk" radio shows a few weeks ago when the news of the Islanders' $20 million offer was announced. The majority of the callers felt that you came out the winner and the Sabres came out the loser in the trade they made with the Islanders. I don't know what logic they were using but the following is my logic:

1. The contract that you just signed with the Islanders is only worth an average of $3.33 million per year when you factor in the year that you sat out without pay.

2. The Sabres did not overpay a player who had one very good season (27 goals and 56 points in the 1998-99 season) and who only scored 20 goals and 41 points in his last season (1999-2000).

3. I don't believe that a 2 0/4 1 scorer is worth $3 million per year.

4. The Sabres received Tim Connolly and Taylor Pyatt. Both players have the potential of scoring more than 20 goals and 41 points per season.

5. Factoring in the "cost of living" on Long Island or the NYC area your average gain of $333,000 per year in earnings is much less.

6. Then there are the intangibles. Your wife and your child's maternal grandparents are from the Buffalo area. I'm sure that your wife would be happier living near her friends and family 12 months a year rather than only during the offseason.

In my opinion the Sabres got the best of the deal.

RUSS ARCARA
North Tonawanda

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