Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula wants fans to know he shares their worries about the futures of Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek.
“I can tell the fans I’m concerned, too,” Pegula told Buffalo’s WGR-AM 550, as per the Buffalo News. “Yes, we want them here.”
Miller has one year left on the five-year, $31.25 million deal he signed with the Sabres in 2009. He has a modified no-trade clause — he can list eight teams he will not accept a trade to, according to Capgeek — and carries a $6.25 million annual cap hit.
Vanek also has one year left on his deal — a seven-year, $50 million contract signed in 2007. He carries a $7.14 million cap hit and doesn’t have a no-trade or no-movement clause.
It’s been rumored that neither player wants to stick around Buffalo for a potential rebuild.
The club has traded away assets at each of the last two deadlines — Paul Gaustad, Robyn Regehr, Jordan Leopold and former captain Jason Pominville — all for either draft picks and/or prospects.
What’s more, the future of the club appears to be with its youth, including a trio of talented forwards (first-rounders Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons and Joel Armia) and goalie Matt Hackett, acquired from Minnesota in the Pominville deal.
So you can see why Vanek and Miller might be expendable.
That said, it sounds as though Pegula isn’t ready to concede it’s time to move on from Buffalo’s all-time winningest goalie and its active points leader.
But it might be out of his control.
“They have a say in that decision,” Pegula explained. “What that decision is, no one’s been re-signed yet, so we’re still working.
“Don’t forget, they’re part of that decision.”