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Pegula Concerned about Miller, Vanek's Return To Sabres

(WBEN/AP)  Sabres Owner Terry Pegula says contract talks are apparently ongoing with Sabres Forward Thomas Vanek (pictured far left)  and Goalie Ryan Miller (L) , however he expressed concern Tuesday morning and gave the team's  strongest indications yet that the two star players may not be interested in staying in Buffalo.

Both have expressed uncertainty about their long-term future on what's now a rebuilding team, something Pegula seemed to underline in an interview with Kevin Sylvester on WGR Sportsradio 550 Tuesday.

 Miller and Vanek's contracts with the team expire at the end of the 2014 season.

WBEN Extra: HEAR Sabres Owner Terry Pegula on WGR Sportsradio 550

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In a wide ranging discussion, Pegula spoke of his continued support for General Manager Darcy Regier, saying that his lack of success with the team may have been because Regier was not as empowered under previous owners.

Pegula also spoke of the team's approach to try and land free agents, brushing aside concerns that the team has not been agressive and instead saying that sometimes players do not want to come to Buffalo. 

"When you go after a free agent, I get a kick out of comments 'Why didn't they get this guy? ,'Why didn't they get that guy?'  Does anyone ever think  that player has a say in that decision? Maybe he doesn't want to come to Buffalo, and you can't force people to do things," Pegula said.

It was a theme he returned to in the discussion of Vanek and Miller's  future with the team.

"You can tell the fans I'm concerned too. Yes, we want them here. They have a say in that decision," Pegula said. "... No one's been re-signed yet. We are still working."

"You want them here?, " Sylvester asked.

"Yes, but don't forget they are part of that decision," Pegula said. 

Vanek has said he has no interest in staying if the Sabres elect to rebuild from scratch. If that happened, Vanek said it would be better for both sides if they traded him in exchange for younger players and/or draft picks.

Miller understands he's in the same boat. He's open to staying, while understanding there is a chance he won't be part of the team's long-term plans.

In five days leading up to the NHL trading deadline in April, the Sabres dealt three veterans, including captain Jason Pominville. In exchange, Buffalo acquired six draft picks and two prospects.

The Sabres are coming off a tumultuous season during which Head Coach Lindy Ruff was fired after a 6-10-1 start, and Regier continued the process of turning over his aging roster.

 At the close of last season,  Regier said it was too early to tell whether his start-from-scratch plans will include keeping Miller and leading scorer Vanek or trading either one or both before their contracts expire at the end of next season.

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Locations : Buffalo
People : Darcy RegierJason PominvilleKevin SylvesterLindy RuffRyan MillerTerry PegulaThomas Vanek
06/18/2013 12:37PM
Pegula Concerned about Miller, Vanek's Return To Sabres
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06/18/2013 3:41PM
Petulant interview
Mr Pegula is no doubt a very successful businessman, however I have to disagree with him about Darcy. He has promised to rebuild one to many times during his tenure in Buffalo. It's time to move on get someone in who takes action and is ready to move forward. A procrastinator like Darcy will never get us a Stanley Cup or the players who can win it for us. Dennis M Lockport NY and Bonita Springs FL
06/18/2013 7:01PM
@Petulant interview
How long has Darcy had an open checkbook in his tenure in Buffalo? Answer: Since Terry P purchased the team. Or were you referring to when Rigas embezzled all the money and ran the team into the ground? or when Golisano cared more about money than a Stanley Cup? or when Larry Quinn, the guy who is the reason Darcy didn't negotiate contracts during the season, even though he begged Larry to offer Briere 5 year/ $25 million contract, cared more about Drury, who wanted to be a Ranger, then resigning the one person, Briere, who was ready to sign from the start? Darcy has made more good trades and signings than not and even through the Dark Times between Rigas and Pegula drafted good players like Vanek and Pominville and Campbell and Paille, etc. Forget Curtis Brown over JP Dumont, Leino and Ehrhoff contracts, which I'm sure Leino will be bought out, all that says to me is Darcy is willing to do ANYTHING to sign a good player, which I believe will attract players looking for good money and a hockey-crazed town starving for a Cup. No matter what team or city a player plays for, those players will come to win the Cup. what would you say if Dracy got 1 or 2 of top 3 pick in this draft by trading Miller, a pick, maybe a player to Florida, who is looking for a goalie of Miller's caliber and same deal with Vanek, as with Miller, to COL, who could use some good scoring and not as far from having a better team, instead of rebuilding, especially with a lot of the good, young players that they currently have. Picture Seth Jones and/or MacKinnon or Drouin (Drouin more since we need and will need, after trading Vanek, Wingers.) It CAN be done and i believe we can get at least 1 of those players, which i would want Drouin, by trading Miller and keeping Vanek, to put WITH Vanek and Coho. I bet that line will ignite, if not I'm sure Grigs or Girgs would love having on their line, if we stick with the 8th and 16th pick we could get MORE depth for wing and defense positions which this team is lacking. Add that to the surplus of talent we have in the pipeline and those that are close or closer to NHL ready coming on this team. I have no fear that with some slick wheeling and dealing by Darcy we could have a very, very dangerous team sooner than he told us.
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