Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo. Can someone explain to me just what their goals are for this season? Are they trying to make the playoffs? Are they re-building? I can’t tell.
Nobody knows what Tyler Myers is going to be, after being drafted as a potential Chara 2.0, and winning the Calder Trophy for the 2009-10 season. But since then, his points per season has decreased, and nobody really know what he’ll turn into as a hockey player. He was drafted 12th overall in 2008, before players such as Erik Karlsson (15th) and Jordan Eberle (22nd), so the expectation to push to the next level is there, it’s all up to Myers to get there, and at 23, he and Ristolainen look to be the future defense.
But the big news is revolving around Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller. Both have contracts up at the end of this season, and the Sabres are apparently looking to ship them both off before the trade deadline. Vanek is 29 and Miller is 33, but both have contract in excess on 6 million, with Vanek’s contract over 7 million. If the Sabres are ‘re-building’, then they need to dump the pair of them for youth, which is a lot easier said than done, considering there are only 6 teams which have more cap space available than the Sabres, so it seems they need to get some cap in return.
In Miller’s case, he has 8 teams on his no-trade list, which includes the Edmonton Oilers, who were linked to both he and Vanek in a deal that could send Nail Yakupov to Buffalo, and even though the Oilers have more cap space than the Sabres, it isn’t by much, so the Oilers would probably have to send Ales Hemsky and his $5mil contract to Buffalo, which I’m sure they wouldn’t mind considering Hemsky’s contract is also up at the end of this season.
The problem with dealing Miller however, and not getting a goaltender in return, means that the Sabres are left with Jhonas Enroth and Matt Hackett as their goalies. Hackett was picked up from the Wild in the Jason Pominville trade, whereas Enroth, along with Jacob Markstrom, Henrik Lundqvist and Jonas Gustafsson, are in contention to represent Team Sweden as their goalie core for the Sochi Olympics. Hackett is only 20, and hasn’t really proven anything, but Enroth is 25, and could be a starting goalie in the National Hockey League, but that can only be questionable at best, leaving the Sabres with a rapidly declining Ryan Miller.
Maybe the Sabres need to re-sign Miller, or make a massive play for a goaltender before the trade deadline or in the off-season. Otherwise, unless Enroth or Hackett can set up, it won’t matter who else they have in their roster, because if the goalie can’t stop goals, then they’re always going to be in contention for the number one pick come draft time.
I have a Twitter for some unknown reason, it’s @ThatDamnDoubleC. Also, go visit BoredWrestlingFan.com, as we’re like brothers or something. You like the little icon in the top left corner where the title of this blog is? I found that here.