Say what you will about the legitimacy of the Buffalo Sabres trading Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller (plus) for Nail Yakupov (plus), it sure got the rumor mill fired up. The trade winds had been blowing very lightly early on in 2013-14. Blame the lower cap ceiling. Blame the various veteran options that still don’t have jobs. Blame whatever you want.
This week has been proof that nothing whips folks into a frenzy like a good old fashioned trade rumor. We’re here to speculate though. Since Vanek’s name popped up in the rumors and he’s allegedly not interested in heading back to Buffalo after this season, the Sabres will likely be moving him before the end of the season.
Vanek will continue to see his name in headlines until that day comes.
— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) October 18, 2013
He has been Buffalo’s best forward for the last six or seven seasons with little competition, and losing him for nada would be a huge blow to a franchise that just can’t withstand many more huge blows. Coming in behind the red-hot Oilers rumors were some talks that the Philadelphia Flyers might be interested in the sniper.
Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer sees a fit.
He speculates that the Flyers would be willing to roll the dice on Vanek because of their anemic goal scoring, and could be willing to move a young player like Sean Couturier Nick Cousins. If that kind of deal comes across the table, the Sabres should probably grab it and not look back. It’s unlikely they’ll secure a franchise player for Vanek, but they can add another piece to what’s sure to be a slow rebuild.