New York gubernatorial candidate Thomas Golisano said he remains interested in buying the Sabres, who have been run by the league for the last four months.

"We're getting closer," Golisano said in an interview with Bloomberg News reporters and editors. "I've gone down a pretty long path if I weren't interested."

Golisano met with Commissioner Gary Bettman earlier this month and has submitted a proposal to buy the team. He wouldn't disclose the amount of his bid or whether it would exceed what he is spending in his race.

Golisano -- the billionaire founder and chairman of Paychex Inc., the second-largest U.S. payroll-processing company -- said he has spent $50 million in his self-financed campaign.

* NABOKOV ENDS HOLDOUT: G Evgeni Nabokov agreed to a two-year, $7.15 million contract with the Sharks, ending his holdout.

Nabokov, the franchise's career victories leader with 71 over his first two seasons, sat out all of training camp and the first two weeks of the regular season while seeking a big increase from the $575,000 he earned last season.

Without Nabokov and holdout D Brad Stuart, the Sharks have struggled to a 1-4 start.

* KINGS EXTEND TAYLOR: The Kings extended the contract of GM Dave Taylor through the 2005-06 season.

Los Angeles has made the playoffs four times during Taylor's five years in charge. Taylor, 46, spent his 17-year NHL career with the Kings. He had 431 goals and 638 assists and played in a franchise-record 1,111 games.

* PANTHERS' WARD SUSPENDED: Panthers D Lance Ward was suspended for one game without pay by the NHL for elbowing Blue Jackets F Tyler Wright on Saturday night.

-- From News Services