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.
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.