Let's Dance! Three Realistic Trading Partners for the Buffalo Sabres

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The New York Islanders

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

I ended my recent post about which five teams I felt would be the most interested in acquiring Ryan Miller with the Islanders, so they seem like a good place to start here.  Not to be too redundant, but the Islanders need a starting goaltender, and they have a team that is good enough to make the playoffs, so a perennial back-up/average goalie such as Ray Emery, Ilya Bryzgalov, or Johan Hedberg is not going to cut it.  If I were Darcy Regier, I would have been on the phone with Islanders GM Garth Snow days ago, not in a “Look, you need us,” kind of way, but with a, “We both have an opportunity to make our teams better” sort of approach.

The Islanders have an awful lot of depth in an area the Sabres do not: the center position.  Trying to swing a deal that would send Miller to Long Island for either Ryan Strome and/or Josh Bailey and a young prospect or two strikes me as being such an obvious opportunity, that it is no wonder it has yet to happen.   Some people just want to make life more difficult than it needs to be. . . .

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres

  • Robert Patrick Moscato

    Since you are talking Ducks and Kings and its widely kown Ryan Miler wants to be in the same time zone as his wife, Why would you even suggest a team on the East Coast to send Ryan to?? My money’s on Miller going to Anaheim if the Ducks are interested. Maybe Darcy could package Miller and Vanek for players and/or draft picks.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      You have to read the other article I wrote to understand. There’s almost no west coast teams that need him, and rumor has it the fact that Miller prefers to go west is making it a bit difficult to trade him. Anaheim’s goalie situation is good, so they would not be interested in Miller, Anyway, that other article focused on Miller, this one, more on Vanek.

  • J Knight

    Robert Patrick Moscato Miller doesn’t have a full no trade clause. He can only pick 8 teams he won’t go to. So, he really doesn’t have a say whether he goes to an East Coast team or not.

    I think it’s going to be very hard to trade Miller with that contract, his age, his subpar play the last few seasons and the cap going down. I really don’t think you are going to get all that much for him. I’m sure Darcy would have traded him to the Devils for the 9th pick. I don’t think the Devils were interested. I think a lot of Sabres fans think he is better than he is. Other than the 2009-2010 season his play has been slightly above average when you compare what he has done to other goaltenders in the league. When we went to back to back Conference finals his numbers were not all that good. Even when you take into consideration the new rules after the lockout those two seasons his numbers put him below the middle of the pack. Those teams won with offense. He had one great season, a bunch of slightly above average ones with a couple of below average ones sprinkled in. Like I said, he’s slightly above average.

    I also think the Sabres really, really want to Keep Vanek, but won’t be able to convince him to stay.

    My prediction is Darcy hangs onto both as long as he can and he ends up getting relatively little in return. He could have gotten the most return at this past trade deadline. He could have gotten something decent before or during the draft. Now he’s going to have to wait until after free agency and deal with the teams that lost out on the big free agents. Even then he won’t get as much as he could have earlier. If he waits until the season starts or next trade deadline he’s going to get almost nothing compared to what he could have gotten a year earlier. Rent-a-players don’t get you as much as a player with a year left on their contracts like Pommenville had. He won’t get anywhere near what he got for Pommers if he continues to wait.

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      Good points! I agree that Vanek has more worth, and while it pains me to say we should ship our best scorer out, I have already argued that he doesn’t seem interested in being here any more. The Sabres would be wise to get something for him while they can.

    • qwicwted

      I agree with a lot of what you say – thing is, there are a limited number of teams that might have interest in Miller – Edmonton, maybe St. Louis, maybe CO, Florida, Philly and the Islanders. Since Ryan has been vocal about heading west – you probably really only have one or two teams to talk to. I have heard rumors of Miller/Stafford for Oshi and Halek. I don’t mind this deal and I think it gives us pretty good value. Although I think a good trade would be Duchene and Downie for Miller and Staff.

      With Vanek, trading for Ryan would be a good move, although I think a better move would be to try to get Pavelski.

      Anyway, I don’t see them signing a big name UFA – but there are a couple of them out there that for a reasonable price might be worthwhile signing for their leadership and mentoring capabilities – like Morrowor Clowe.

  • Kevin

    yeah, if we could get Tifolli from LA that would be an excellent trade.

  • davidmuscalo

    I would only agree to trading Vanek if he definitely wants to leave. If he does want to leave then Regier has to trade him and get the best deal that he can get. If Vanek walks next summer because Regier was too timid or to obstinate to trade him, he should be fired on the spot.