To this point in the offseason, we’ve already heard a great deal about how the Buffalo Sabres plan to deal one of or both Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek at some point this summer. Heading into a rebuild, it doesn’t make sense to hang on to a pair of veterans who will likely leave when their contracts are up after 2013-14.
Which means that we can all but punch their tickets out of town at this point, right? Not so fast. In fact, Sabres owner Terry Pegula took to the air and stated that he would like both to return to Buffalo next season and that the front office should take measures to make sure that each of them are happy.
This is a tough call for the Sabres. Do you trade your two largest assets to the team in order to enter a full scale rebuild and set yourself up better for the future? Or do you keep them around and try to avoid the pain and bottom-dwelling that comes with that type of situation?
We’ve heard some situations regarding each of the Sabres’ marquee veterans that could lead to a trade. Some of that talk has revolved around the no. 1 pick in this month’s draft, while there’s been other talk of moving Vanek for defensive depth or a variety of other scenarios.
But what makes more sense for Buffalo? Should they part ways with one or both of Miller and Vanek, or keep them and try to put together a playoff run in 2013-14? In the end, this team is probably too far off from being considered a serious contender in the Eastern Conference. Which means that Vanek and/or Miller could leave in free agency next summer. Which means moving them now makes sense.
The Sabres will likely try and gauge where Miller and Vanek are in terms of where they’d like to be next year. If they give an indication that they’re interested in remaining in Buffalo beyond 2013-14, then they could upgrade the roster this summer in order to make them happy in doing so. But this situation is nowhere near over. Stay tuned.