By John Vogl
NEW YORK – Darcy Regier entered draft weekend ready to gauge the marketplace for Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek. As of now, he expects to exit draft weekend with them as members of the Sabres.
“Right now, I do, yes,” Regier said this afternoon.
Miller’s agent, Mike Liut, concurs in regard to his client.
“I am not expecting anything to happen,” he said via email.
The trade market has had a number of names added to it this weekend, but Regier says that doesn’t mean transactions will occur.
“As you add names and the supply gets greater, I don’t know what that will do with the asking prices and whether teams will be able to get the asking price or whether there will be any kind of adjustment in the marketplace for players or for the acquisition of players,” Regier said. “It’s really still a bit of a moving target that hasn’t settled yet.”
Miller and Vanek are the top names on the Sabres’ shopping list because they are set to enter the final year of their contracts. Buffalo is not expected to contend for the Stanley Cup and there is no guarantee the players will re-sign, so Regier cannot let them exit the organization next summer without getting assets in return.
“I entered this weekend recognizing that they both are in the last year of their contracts, and I have a responsibility to see what that means both with those players and also within the marketplace,” Regier said. “Unless you’re a highly competitive team, it’s very difficult to have players on your roster whose contracts are going to expire if you either choose not to or don’t have the ability to re-up them.
“Just to lose those assets, you try to get a sense of what the marketplace is like, and that’s a process that’s ongoing. I expect it will continue to move through the draft into maybe free agency and maybe beyond that. We’re actively keeping our finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the league, and we’ll have to just make our decision.”
The lack of trade activity extends to the draft, which will be held Sunday in New Jersey. The Sabres are set to pick eighth and 16th overall.
“Right now I expect that we will pick where we’re picking, and I say that only because there’s nothing that’s imminent or concrete,” Regier said. “But like I said, there are a lot of conversations, and they will continue right until the draft starts and even beyond that.”
taggedNHL Entry Draft | Ryan Miller | Thomas Vanek