The Buffalo Sabres could be considered one of the biggest surprises for their on-ice performance this year. Sitting in 14th in the Eastern Conference and 29th overall in the NHL, the Sabres are now dealing with a wasted year and subsequently, could look at trading away some bloated salary come this year’s trading deadline.
Some notable names that have been mentioned out of Buffalo News writer, Bucky Gleason include netminder Ryan Miller, forward Jason Pominville and star Thomas Vanek. All three are set to become free-agents following next season and now might be the time for the Sabres to part ways with some of their high priced talent and start over.
Vanek is the most skilled amongst the three mentioned, but he’s also the highest paid at $7.14 million. The return on Vanek would be substantial from a playoff hungry team looking to upgrade with a highly skilled forward that can wow crowds with his offensive abilities. The contract could prove difficult to move however.
Ryan Miller has been a lock in the Sabres goal for as long as he’s been in the league. The former Vezina trophy winner would bolster many teams goaltending depth and clubs like the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils could be front runners if Miller is available.
Again, the asking price won’t be pretty but GM Darcy Regier has to remember that Miller comes with a $6.25 million dollar price tag.
Jason Pominville was the other name mentioned by Gleason. The 30-year old is set to earn $5.3 million next season and is an attractive player for teams looking for a goal scoring right winger. Already with 9 goals and 11 assists in 27 games for the Sabres this season, Pominville could be a logical fit in Boston given the Bruins needs for a second or third line winger.
There will be plenty of questions between now and the deadline and the Sabres should help to provide some of the answers. Do they sell their top-end talent now and look towards the future? Or do they consider long-term extensions and keep their core group of players in tact, hoping to find that missing chemistry next season and get back to being a top 8 team in the conference?
We’ll find out soon enough and as always, we will keep you updated right here at Too Many Men.