Monday, August 19, 2013
Destinations for Miller, Vanek
By Tim Kavanagh
Based upon what we saw the Buffalo Sabres do prior to the trading deadline last season -- and where the strength of their team lies right now -- it's not the biggest stretch in the world to believe that they'll explore the value of G Ryan Miller and LW Thomas Vanek. While a move in the near future may not be likely, let's look ahead to where each of them might end up prior to this season's trading deadline.
Miller has a limited no-trade clause, and can list eight teams to which he does not want to be traded. He also is going to make $6.25 million in 2013-14, the final year on his current contract. If a team thinks that they're a goaltender away from contention, he would make a great -- if expensive -- rental. For teams that believe he has several more good seasons left, they'll make the move under the assumption that they'll turn around and extend that contract thereafter. Teams with some uncertainty in net include Calgary (going on the idea that Miikka Kiprusoff is retiring), Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, and other teams will pop into this discussion based on injuries.
As for Vanek, he'll be making a bit more in the final season of his deal ($6.4 million), but he fits more into the standard definition of a pre-deadline rental player. In terms of teams that will be interested in the 29-year-old, that would be the clubs that need help scoring both at even strength and on the power play -- 105 of Vanek's 250 career goals have come with the man-advantage. So, short answer? Pretty much any team that's in contention leading up to the deadline, and has a prospect (or draft pick) to offer up to Buffalo in return. We won't know the identity of those teams until the season gets further along, so stay tuned.