LEWISTON -- The Sabres aren't allowed to talk to other teams' free agents until July 1. But the Sabres' prospects can talk to their brothers, so they've got that going for them, which is nice.
Andrew Orpik, the East Amherst native who was the Sabres' seventh-round pick in 2004, lives with his brother, Brooks, in the offseason. The elder Orpik is exactly what Buffalo is looking for on the blue line (big, tough, mean), and he's about to become a free agent unless Pittsburgh pulls out a stunning offer.
"I actually live with him in the summer so I'm with him every day," Andrew Orpik said Wednesday. "Whatever decision he ends up having to make, he'll make the right choice. He's going to want to go to a team that's going to be a contender, and obviously Buffalo always is one.
"He's going to have a few offers, I think, on the table, and he's going to pick something that fits for him. Who knows where he's going to end up. July 1 will be the interesting day for him.
"I think Buffalo is a place he'd definitely want to come. He grew up here and he's got a special bond with the place, but like I said, it's a business, too, and it's his way of living so we'll see what happens."
Buffalo has the money and the cap room to sign the former first-round pick.
In other news, Mike Harrington tells me people are itching to find out if the Sabres extended qualifying offers to Steve Bernier, Paul Gaustad, Daniel Paille, Clarke MacArthur and Mark Mancari, their restricted free agents. They did.