Latest on the Sabres, Devils and Avalanche – July 14, 2013.

Nothing new on the Thomas Vanek/Ryan Miller rumor front, the Devils are believed pursuing Damien Brunner, plus an update on Matt Duchene’s contract status with the Avalanche.

No movement of Vanek or Miller this summer?

No movement of Vanek or Miller this summer?

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington recently reported there was nothing new on the Thomas Vanek/Ryan Miller trade rumor front. GM Darcy Regier noted there’s less movement throughout the league moving through July. Regier admitted most conversations he’s had with other GMs involve taking in money, which Harrington believes is a reference to the difficulty of moving high-salaried players like Vanek and Miller when the salary cap is dropping to $64.3 million. It’s possible both players could still be on the Sabres roster when training camp opens in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this point, the only way I believe the Sabres move either guy is if they agree to pick up part of their salaries. Both also have only one season remaining on their respective contracts and will be eligible for UFA status next summer, further hampering potential trades of either guy at this time of the year. I believe the time to move either one was around the June draft, so now their best opportunity could be near the trade deadline, meaning their respective statuses could become an unwelcome distraction for the rebuilding Sabres.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti yesterday noted a report out of Switzerland claiming the New Jersey Devils were pursuing former Detroit Red Wings forward Damien Brunner, who is now an unrestricted free agent. The report claimed Brunner appears to be headed to the Devils, as they’re doing a lot of background work on the 27-year-old Zurich native.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brunner is among the best remaining players in this summer’s UFA market, and was rumored seeking a multi-year deal worth $3.5 million per season. It remains to be seen if he’ll get that much from the Devils, but he could be a good fit with them.

DENVER POST’s Adrian Dater recently reported via Sulia he’s hearing a contract extension between the Colorado Avalanche and Matt Duchene could be done soon, with Duchene possibly pulling in a cap hit of $6 million per season.


  1. Darcy blew it with these two players. He once again waited too long and now is going to get burned at the end of the season by at least one of them. My guess is it’s Miller he can’t move at the deadline like he wants.

    If Mr. Pegula was looking for what he has done wrong, here is a prime example.

    • Correct – One of the major pit falls of having big $$$$ players in their last year of their contract is that if you wait until the trade deadline in February to trade them and that player is injured, your SCREWED. Better to make the best deal you can for them or sign them long term now.

    • Dont you think Miller and Vanek hurt their value when they came out and said they didn’t want to be part of a rebuild. Don’t you think Miller limited his options of teams to be traded to by saying he wants to be closer to the wife? In the case of Vanek – most teams that are contenders already have their “core” and it seems to me that teams signed UFA’s rather than go the trade routs – didn’t cost them a player/prospect or pick in return. The one major trade of Ryan to Ottawa worked out well because Ottawa/Anaheim got good bang for their buck – in other words $5M is about the norm. For Darcy to trade Vanek, he would have either had to take some salary back or gotten something more than what Ottawa paid or Ryan.

      As for Miller – he wants to go West – seems to me that most of the Western Teams are set at goalie. In fact St. Louis has 3. To me, he can give Darcy a list of 8 teams, but if the other 21 teams don’t need a goalie – then he’s stuck. I think we’ll have better luck trading him once the season starts.

  2. The Lazy days of summer, basically no news lol
    Big contracts hard to trade with salary cap falling… Jersey still hoping to fill the void….Col will sign its no1 center…. all shocking headlines today oh well I guess the off season is finally here.

  3. I hate people who always use lol … we don’t care if you are laughing out loud …

    • LOL

    • Good for you ed…good for you lol

  4. Slow day… So I read eklund.. LOL… Has NJ talking to toronto about phanuef. I can’t see this happening as I don’t see what NJ would have that would benefit the Leafs

    • 1st rounder in 2015, NJ finish last and the leafs draft McDavid. One can dream can’t they.

    • Well, it would have to be a draft pick(s), as there is really nobody on their list that they can really afford to give up without hurting their roster. If for some ever reason Phaneuf gets traded, it’ll be to a team that can afford him and afford to give up assets…Edmonton is the most likely of that scenario:

      To Toronto: Hemsky + 2014 1st Rounder
      To Edmonton: Phaneuf + Holzer

  5. When is the 13/14 schedule coming out? I am trying to book a trip to NYC but want to make sure I squeak in a game at MSG.

  6. Phaneuf to NJ rumours may actually prove accurate, seeing as they will look to bolster their PP and Phaneuf would provide a shot; they also have the cap space to take his contract on. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if this happened.

    • Plus, with Stevens behind the bench, you can bet that he’ll want Phaneuf using his body.

    • Sorry, additional note: Toronto would have to take on Salvador, Fayne, or Volchenkov for this to happen.

      • But what actual asset would toronto gain? Can’t see them doing it for salvador and a 3rd.. Have to be a young forward and I can’t see them trading henrique

        • Cant see it, We need D we are not trading him for a cheaper yet still over paid mistake prone older D in Volchenkov or Salvador and some middle of the road prospect and a second or third round pick. We dont need to shed salary that bad.

          No way is Lou trading Zajac Henrique or Larsson, makes no sense.

          Like I said slow news day and Eks secret weapon to get hits on his site…Leaf rumor.

          • No, you’re right, but the rumour does have stock because NJ has the cap space and will need to address their power play. I could see NJ making a move meant to improve their power play and that would involve moving someone who’s already part of their d-corps.

    • Isn’t NJ trying to get rid of dmen right now to make room for up and coming dmen? wouldn’t make sense at all.

      • NJ was trying to get rid of D men because thats where they have a couple bigger(not horrible just bigger) contracts and to be where they wanted to be with salary structure, but now Kovalchuk is gone it may change things a bit (not that this move would make any more sense either way) but I dont think they were trying to pawn off those D men to just make room for youth but for both reasons. 1 they wanted to give their young guys a chance they might be ready and 2 they are cheaper.

  7. Amazing…how on a day in which there is NO Toronto news at all, that team still gets talked about. The truth is it will be a very long time before that team returns to the glory days of the 60’s. And I mean VERY LONG.

    I am not worried about Darcy moving Vanek. At the trade deadline there is always a market for rentals. And Vanek would be more than that, since he doesn’t compare to the typical rental pickup, e.g. Torres or Boyes. Of course for a team gearing up for a playoff run all Darcy will get are draft picks and prospects.

    Miller is and will continue to be a problem. Barring any goalie injury or breakdown on another team, he will probably walk for nothing. Darcy might be fired if that occurs.

    • perhaps a 3 way deal will have to be done in order to move Miller?

      End results
      Ana gets Miller
      Calgary gets Hiller
      Buff gets roster player, pick, and prospect

      • What roster player and from whom? And what pick?

      • Doubt it will happen
        Anaheim wants to trade Hiller so that they can reduce goalie costs not increase.
        Also they do not want to have to resign Hiller next year, getting Miller would not solve that problem. Lastly it’s time for Anderson to move up to Ducks and Gibson to take over in AHL. Just cannot see Miller here, just because he wants to be here doesn’t mean he is needed here. Now Hiller to Calgary might work if the KHL goalie they signed doesn’t cut it.

        • Agreed Miller to the Ducks makes no sense to me either, Kari Ramo has been an NHL goalie before and Im not so sure why all the hype around him now he was nothing to write home about in Tampa..

  8. Just for the sake of discussion on a slow news day, what does anyone think Vanek is worth in a trade? (assuming no salary gets taken on)

    I’m a Habs fan, and the Sabres are unlikely to do a big trade with the Habs, even in the new alignment. But would the Sabres do this?

    To Mtl:

    To Buf:
    Desharnais (helps make $$$ work)
    2nd rounder
    5th rounder

    Again, not saying this deal would happen, but am I out of my mind for perceived equality?

    Pick a team and say what you think would work! (and let the flaming begin :) )

    • To Pho: F Thomas Vanek + (conditional pick based on resigning)
      To Buf: D Keith Yandle

      Also not saying it would happen, but a good hockey deal for both teams. Phoenix is deep on defense and with Riberio + Vanek finally get an amazing scoring threat. Buffalo gets an experienced, young top 2 defenseman. Straight up hockey deal, only big hitch I see on this one is Vanek resigning and the deal would probably be 3rd/2nd if he resigns, 2nd/1st if he doesn’t.

      • Not so sure if Im Phx I do that deal, Yandel will bring in a couple more affordable pieces, potential top 6 younger prospect kind of guy and a pick.
        Im not trading him for an expensive top line guy who is UFA at the end of the year and sending a pick away as well. I see what you are saying about a hockey deal tho I just think they could get more value down the road for Yandel, guess its a possibility tho.

        • Srry read it wrong my bad :-)

      • Makes sense to me! Good, fair prospective, JJB!

    • probably not what buffalo would looks for. A higher draft pick like a 1st to mitigate Montreal not giving up Beaulieu along with the 2nd. Personally I can’t see Vanek fitting in with Montreal. But ..ya never know

      let’s throw out random teams
      Hags, Boyle and a 1st?

      Pavelski straight up?

      Stewart and a 2nd and 3rd?

      Nolan, Lewis and a 2nd and 3rd?

      Bertuzzi, Samuelsson, Tatar (Bert and Sam for major cap relief at end of season) (not realistic just throwing it out there)

      Ruutu & Skinner (not realistic but just throwing it out there)

      Kane and get back a 1st also?

      Kassian, and 1st and 2nd rd ?

      and the list could go on

      • I don’t understand most of these because,teams are NOT re-shuffling their ortsers TO acquire Vanek. Vanek would have to have DONE something, shown sme dig deep impact in crucial situations to to WARRANT all these deals where you have teams trading their homegrown players who they know have various leveles of commitment and ability for a player who you really aren’t sure can step up and be the BETTER player on a team, as opposed to a winger who scores, with the help of the guys around him. AND IF YOU GET Vanek, it is to keep Vanek as a centrepirce for YOUR advancing team right? So you BETTER feel he is a did deep gut that will play hurt and when the chips are down. Have we REALLY seen Vanek be THAT guy?
        If not, he will go for a lot less than players teams know are committed pros even IF they are lesser-lights offensively.

      • Kassian? Are you serious? I would say Pavelsi from San Jose, Brown from LA, Neal from Pittsburgh and why not Stepan and Zuccarello? How about Vanek and Stafford for Pacioretty and Gallagher. Vanek just might decide to stay in Buffalo – you know sometimes we all say something we wish we could take back and Vaneks inital reaction to the rebuild might have been just that. This season will be interesting as I hope Vanek decides to accept the opportunity to step up and be a leader and mentor to our youth.

  9. Buffalo actually would need to retain salary in moving Miller and Vanek because they will be floating near the cap floor if they didnt.

    Riht now their focus really should be on signing Hodgson who is an RFA right now.

    Vanek and Miller can wait till September and talk to them on contracts or deal them then.

    I have no info if Regier is trying to get too much for the players or the other teams are low balling them.

    If they wait till the deadline the value for vanek would change that much—it will still be a 1st + 2 quality young players. Vanek at the deadline with Salry retained would put his amount owed by the team acquiring him at $1.2M salry owed the remainder of the season. thus more teams would be able to afford him them.

    If they wait on Miller till the deadline it will be more difficult to move him. I think Miller is more likely to move in septmeber/October or earlier in the season after teams realize their goalie situation sucks.

    • Vanek is ufa next year at the deadline his salary is practically nothing realistically holding salary is not going to affect Vanek or the Sabres one way or another at that point, and thinking back I can not remember 1 time a team thought their goaltending was bad enough in the first month of a season, I could be wrong but Miller moves either soon with a big part of his contract retained by Buffalo or at the deadline, Vanek could be moved much easier.

      • #1 goalies seldom move at the deadline. Teams acquiring assets at the deadline feel they have a shot at winning the cup. How often do teams in that position not already have a good #1 goalie?

        • More often its towards the deadline then the first month of the season Usually its later in the year or the offseason Varlamov Lehtonen traded in Jan-Feb Roy Dec, Giggy Jan Roloson Jan or the off season like Halak Luongo, and Ben Bishop has been traded twice both at the deadline, my main point is a lot of goalies take some time to find their game teams know this and are not going to panic and make a move for a goalie especially an expensive one in the preseason or the first month of the regular season.

          • Bishop wasn’t and still isn’t a #1. Giggy was past his prime and the Oilers were just trying to get into the play-offs rather than be considered a legit cup contender when they traded for Rollie. Roy was the only comparable to Miller and that trade happened a long time ago.
            I can’t foresee one current legit cup contender who would need to trade for a #1 goalie at the deadline and if they did, all they would give up are prospects + late in round picks (ie first round but not top 15). Is that enough for Buffalo? Can teams make that work in a tight salary cap environment? Not likely.
            If he moves, I say it’s summer or Nov/Dec to a non- cup contender unless there is an injury to a bona fide #1.

          • So basically what I said just a month earlier troll

          • Name a number 1 goalie that got ttaded in preseason or the first month, no mtter what excuse you have for this guy or that guy not being a number 1 goalie they were all moved in the off season or closer to the deadline, Roy staryer, Rolloson when he was traded starter Varlamov starter Giggy was a starter No matter how you cut it goalies are not often traded in the first 2months of a season, if you can prove otherwise show me a list with guys that have been traded in oct or nov the past 15 years. Im not saying Miller wont just saying that its unlikely, it will be the off season or later in the year.

          • And who said Miller is going to a cup contender? And if they are a cup contender with out Miller why do they want Miller? From what I can gather he dosent want to be part of a rebuild and would like to go west, if he is only going to give a list of contenders in the west who need goalies it will be a mighty difficult thing to move him, now back under your bridge.

          • Troll? Wow. It appears that I was mistaken to think I was having a conversation with an adult. The use of the word troll makes me think the other languages you know likely include Klingon, Elfish and whatever you and your buddies talk when you play Pokemon or Dungeons & Dragons.