Michael Peca wants to continue his NHL career _ with or without the Buffalo Sabres.

The 26-year-old restricted free agent center says his decision to play for Canada in the Spengler Cup in Switzerland later this month was to show the Sabres he will no longer sit around and wait for them to sign or trade him.

``It's part of moving on with my life,'' Peca said Wednesday. ``I can't sit here and wait for Buffalo to do something.

``They need to know that I'm ready and willing to move on with my life and pursue other options.''

Peca and the Sabres are still about $1 million apart in negotiations. He doesn't think he's close to signing with Buffalo, so he says that makes the decision to leave quite easy.

The NHL's top defensive forward in 1997 wants $3.5 million per season. The Sabres started at $2.2 million, went up to $2.5 million and recently submitted a three-year contract worth $2.6 million per year plus an option year at $2.8 million.

He said the offer wasn't substantial enough to take a good look at, but believes his situation could change after the Spengler Cup because he thinks the Sabres can't afford to wait too much longer.

``I'm sure ownership will urge them to do something that will help them down the road,'' Peca said.