Sabres acquire Grier, Jillson

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Buffalo acquired forward Mike Grier and defenseman Jeff Jillson in separate deals at the NHL trading deadline on Tuesday, a sign that the Sabres will make a push for the playoffs instead of giving up on the season.

Buffalo entered the day with 67 points, six behind the eighth-place New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Miroslav Satan, the team's leading goal scorer, has been on
the trading block, but the Sabres apparently decided to keep him and try for the playoffs a year after declaring bankruptcy.

On Monday, the Sabres picked up defenseman Brad Brown and a sixth-round pick in 2005 from Minnesota for a fourth-round choice next year.

Tuesday's moves included a three-team trade in which the Boston Bruins sent Jillson to San Jose for forward Brad Boyes. The Sharks then sent Jillson to the Sabres for fourth-line center Curtis Brown.

The Sabres also sent the Washington Capitals prospect Jakub Klepis in return for Grier, who has eight goals and 12 assists this season. Grier joins Steve Konowalchuk, Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra, Robert Lang, Michael Nylander and Anson Carter as veterans who have been traded this season by the last-place Capitals, who have slashed payroll ahead of a possible lockout next season.

Boyes was traded from Toronto to the Sharks last season for Owen Nolan. He has spent most of the season with San Jose's AHL affiliate in Cleveland, scoring 25 goals with 35 assists in 61 games.

Brown, 28, can be a restricted free agent after the season. In 68 games with the Sabres, he has nine goals and 12 assists. He was a second-round pick in the 1994 draft and has spent his entire NHL career with the Sabres.

Jillson, a former Sharks draft pick, will also be a restricted free agent. In 50 games with the Bruins, he has four goals and 10 assists.