Category Archives: Buffalo Sabres
Steve Ott is the only impending unrestricted free agent in the Buffalo Sabres dressing room willing to emphatically state that he’s prepared to wait out the rebuild. Yet the captain has no idea if he’ll be given that chance. “We had some negotiating going back and forth and (former GM) Darcy Regier kind of pulled the plug and said he was going to wait until training camp,” says Ott of some summer discussions. “Then training camp came and nothing was said.”
An NHL pro scout, after watching the Buffalo Sabres, said: “Ryan Miller is about all they’ve got. He’s playing unreal.” So where do the Sabres send the goalie at the trade deadline? Are the New York Islanders on his list of teams he’d play for? Are the Nashville Predators, if Pekka Rinne is out for longer than they thought?
The New York Islanders haven’t lived up to the expectations they made for themselves after pushing the Pittsburgh Penguins to the limit with a seven-game series last spring.
That has GM Garth Snow working the phones.
It’s public knowledge that Erat, owner of the penthouse in Capitals head coach Adam Oates’ doghouse, asked to be dealt. While there will be interest because Erat’s salary is $2.25 million lower than his cap hit next season, the fact that he’s now made two trade requests in less than 12 months hurts, even though no one could have predicted what’s happened in Washington.
Asked which team is the best he’s seen this season, McPhee said: “St. Louis. I didn’t realize some of their forwards are as good as they are.” He named Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Sobotka and Vladimir Tarasenko.
If Miller does decide he wants to move on — and the belief is he wants to go to the Western Conference — a league source says there’s a team that may interest Miller looking for a goalie: The Los Angeles Kings.
Miller, 33, is in the final year of a five-year, $31.3 million contract with Buffalo, which may be inclined to move the netminder, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Blues are believed to be one of the teams that inquired about Miller last offseason, but it appears that that ship has sailed.
Pat LaFontaine has only been in his new role as president of hockey operations for the Buffalo Sabres a few days, but he’s already thinking of how he’ll improve the club. The biggest item on his to-do list is hiring a new general manager, but there’s work to be done in the interim.
Among the biggest decisions on the player personnel side is what to do with Ryan Miller. The star goaltender is due to become a free agent at the end of the season and is unlikely to want to be part of a rebuild in Buffalo, which could take some time.
The Buffalo Sabres dug into their past in a major front office shakeup on Wednesday, firing general manager Darcy Regier and head coach Ron Rolston and hiring former Sabre Pat LaFontaine as their new President of Hockey Operations and former Buffalo bench boss Ted Nolan as interim head coach.
Nov. 5. Hockey Central’s insiders report that changes will be coming in Edmonton, although they might not involve former No. 1 draft pick Nail Yakupov — who carries more value than New York Rangers defenceman Michael Del Zotto right now. Ales Hemsky, despite his hefty $5-million cap hit, is more likely to be dealt. Hemsky will be a UFA in July.
Colorado was considered a possible landing spot for Miller during the offseason, but Varlamov put those rumors down by starting 7-1 with a 1.76 goals-against average and .945 save percentage. The Avs appear to be legitimate Stanley Cup hopefuls — they lead the league in goals allowed per game at 1.46 and rank sixth in goals scored at 3.18 — and have 36-year-old J.S. Giguere as a backup.
Impending free-agents Steve Ott, Cody McCormick and Henrik Tallinder could be talked about, too. What the Vanek trade showed is that the Sabres are open for business, but Regier said it’s “too early” to know what value they’ll have in the coming months.
A summary of the latest trade buzz kicking around the National Hockey League, currently being fueled by desperate teams like the Oilers, Panthers, Flyers and Sabres — all performing under expectations and looking to reverse their fate.
Oct. 28. The seal has been cracked with the blockbuster trade of Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders for Matt Moulson and a pair of high draft picks. The Buffalo rebuild we’ve been waiting for is underway, and Ryan Miller should be the next domino to fall.
Thomas Vanek could have been paid handsomely to stay in Buffalo. A source, in fact, says the Sabres were willing to make him the highest-paid player in the NHL.
Next up on the NHL calendar – #Sabres trading Ryan Miller. But where to? Few takers for goalie making that much coin.
— The Mayor John Hoven (@mayorNHL) October 28, 2013
The New York Islanders have acquired forward Thomas Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forward Matt Moulson, a first round draft pick in 2014 and a 2015 second round pick.
Hockey people know the fans want Regier gone. Whether the team will ax him is another matter. Prominent folks are eager to see what happens.
And just so you know, there was talk Wednesday afternoon that the Sabres were working on a deal with Edmonton that would send Ryan Miller or Thomas Vanek and possibly both to the Oilers in a package that would bring Nail Yakupov and more to Buffalo. Whether it actually happens is another story. But as it stood Wednesday, the two sides had considered, or were considering, a major swap.
Vanek, a rugged 6-foot-2, 207-pounder who is one of Buffalo’s cornerstones, could bring the Sabres several prospects (Scott Laughton? Nick Cousins? Oliver Lauridsen?) and/or draft picks.
He would feel right at home with the Flyers because he was winger Michael Raffl’s linemate with Austria at the 2013 IIHF World Championships.
Minnesota forward and ex-Buffalo teammate Jason Pominville said he’s asked daily about the prospects of Vanek rejoining him.
Vanek understands the interest but didn’t get asked about it much while he was home.
Almost daily, Jason Pominville will get recognized around the Twin Cities. He’s always flattered, although inevitably the Wild winger knows where the conversation will usually end up.
It takes mere minutes for hockey-mad Wild and Gophers fans to ask Pominville if his former Buffalo Sabres teammate, Thomas Vanek, will soon be reuniting with him in Minnesota.