The Buffalo Sabres will spend much of the week leading up to the draft in the spotlight. With the trading season set to heat up within the next couple of days, the Sabres offer two of the bigger assets on the market, in veteran forward Thomas Vanek and goaltender Ryan Miller.
Vanek and Miller have been mentioned in trade rumors for the past few months, going back to before Aprils’ trade deadline. With each set to become a free agent next summer, the belief is that neither will be back and the Sabres are likely to head into a full scale rebuilding mode.
However, recent statements by ownership have indicated that the Sabres would like to hold on to both Vanek and Miller for the future and add to their skilled veterans, rather than dumping them and heading into that rebuild. But to this point, we have yet to hear about any real talk with either of the pair.
The Sabres have not approached either Vanek or Miller about possibly signing an extension. Obviously they wouldn’t be able to officially sign one until July 5th, so it would simply be an “agree to terms” sort of thing, but the fact that they haven’t even approached either one is interesting.
Does that mean that the Sabres were trying to increase their trade value, with Terry Pegula saying that they’d rather keep them, increasing leverage? We don’t know. We also don’t know if the Sabres have some sort of intention of opening up talks within the next couple of weeks.
But if we’re sitting here on draft night, and there hasn’t been any sort of dialogue with the Sabres and Vanek or Miller, it’d be very surprising to see them donning the navy blue sweater next season.