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Buffalo Sabres Likely To Start Season With Miller and Vanek

While something could happen between now and the start of the regular season, fully expect Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek to don the yet to be revealed gold third jerseys this season.

At this point, having Ryan Miller between the pipes is your best bet to win hockey games this year, especially with a much bigger defense sitting on the Buffalo Sabres Blue line.

Thomas Vanek is and remains to be the top scorer for the Buffalo Sabres and his offensive talent will be much needed on a team that will be looking for defense as their primary weapon.

The longer the players remain with the team however, means that the team is more likely going to lose them for nothing at the trade deadline.

Moving Ryan Miller during the season becomes easier – if a team loses a goaltender, or a team finds that they are lacking between the pipes and hopes to save their season.  If goalies stay healthy – that will make it harder for Darcy Regier to look like a hero and get something for the once Olympic caliber goaltender.

Any deal for Vanek would come at the trade deadline, and go to a team that is looking for offensive presence heading into the post season.  If the Buffalo Sabres cannot sign Vanek to an extension before the trade deadline, expect him to go to a contender in on of the Western Conferences.

The key though is money.  The Buffalo Sabres have absorbed contracts in trades, to the likes of Adam Pardy, Ales Kotalik, and most likely Jamie McBain – as teams try to get under the reduced salary cap.  In order to make the deal with the Minnesota Wild – they kept a portion of the salary for former captain Jason Pominville.  Expect any deal for Ryan Miller or Thomas Vanek to come with a lame duck player – or force the Buffalo Sabres to keep paying a portion of their salary – whether the team needs to eliminate salary or not.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Ryan Miller Thomas Vanek

  • Mark

    His name is Ales Kotalik. Sorry it was bugging me.

    • Timothy Redinger

      Thanks Mark….fingers were working faster than the brain.

  • J Knight

    I think Miller will be harder to trade during the season. He’s harder to trade period. He’s going to be 34 before the end of the season, his play has been down the last few seasons, and his cap number is huge. With the cap coming down this season there aren’t many teams in need of a high priced goaltender, especially in a league where top offense teams (statistically) with average or slightly above average goalies win the cup more often than not since the 04′ lockout.

    I think Vanek could be traded before or relatively early in the season. It’s not a certainty, nor more likely, that the Sabres will have to wait until the deadline to move him. Even at the deadline I think you could still get a good return from a team desperate to win the cup.

    Personally I think the Sabres want to trade Miller and keep Vanek long term, make him captain and build around him. He’s only 29 and could play at a high level for another 5 or 6 years. I don’t think he wants to stay though.

    The only thing we know for sure is that we won’t see another Drury/Briere scenario play out……….right?

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