OK, maybe it's not news, or breaking, but it is somewhat surprising that neither Miller or Vanek have been moved at this point in the offseason, considering the debacle that was last season for Buffalo. It seemed inevitable that both players would be moved at some point during the offseason, in an attempt for the organization to get some sort of value for its two stars. Yet, Darcy Regier says that may not be the case.
“We’ve had some discussions regarding both those players,” Regier told Sabres.com during the annual “Blue & Gold Scrimmage” on Friday. “Obviously they’re here and they’re part of our organization. Nothing’s changed in that regard."
Regier also told the website that one, or both players could remain with the blue and gold when training camp opens in September, a situation very few thought as a possibility when last season concluded. However, it appears that both players will be moved at some point, as Regier is talking to teams about them, which would leave many to speculate that neither player has bought Regier's plan to rebuild the team swiftly. Instead, the reason these players remain on Buffalo's roster appear to be due to the salary cap decreasing, due to the new CBA.
“The cap is a real big part of it. Any discussions that I have now involve taking back money, moving money. Money plays a very big role,” Regier told Sabres.com. “I think you can look at clubs you wouldn’t expect to be up and around $60-million-plus and they’re there.”
Communication between Regier and agents for both players have been quiet, which is not uncommon this time of year. But Regier did offer Sabres.com a glimmer of hope that Miller and Vanek could stay, citing that discussions with the players could possibly begin in the near future.
Although Miller and Vanek have yet to move, the Sabres have made significant moves to change the landscape of the team. Jason Pominville, Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regher all were moved before the trade deadline last season, moves in which many fans felt were a statement that the team was going to be dismantled. Buffalo also traded Andrej Sekera to Carolina for Jaime McBain, re-acquired Henrik Tallinder and bought-out Nathan Gerbe. Gerbe's buyout was something that was decided last minute, in an attempt to give him a better opportunity elsewhere.
“We didn’t have any intentions of buying him out initially, but in speaking with his agent over the course of the season, he was concerned about the opportunity he was getting here,” Regier told Sabres.com. “We looked at the opportunity that we were going to be able to provide him and didn’t think it was going to be suitable for him.”
Buffalo also signed Rasmus Ristolainen to a three-year, entry-level contract this week. His signing will give him the opportunity to battle for a roster spot for the upcoming season, something Ristolainen wants, a lot.
“My goal this year is [to play] right away. That’s my main goal,” Ristolainen told Sabres.com. “I know it’s a tough call, but if everything goes pretty well, I don’t see why I can’t get it. I trust myself a lot.”
During most years, the offseason is quiet as far as the news front is concerned. But this offseason is full of so much uncertainty. From Miller and Vanek to any other free agent the Sabres may sign, this offseason is proving to be all but quiet.
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