BUFFALO – Just weeks after the Vegas Golden Knights’ unlikely run to the Stanley Cup final last year, new Sabres defenseman Colin Miller signed a four-year, $15.5 million contract with the expansion team.
Having inked a such a team-friendly deal – it has just a $3.875 million salary cap hit – Miller, 26, figured he was in Vegas’ long-term plans.
But the Golden Knights’ early success has created cap problems this offseason. They’ve been forced to deal some of their core players from the remarkable 2017-18 club.
After signing former 40-goal scorer William Karlsson to an eight-year, $47.2 million contract earlier this week, the Golden Knights traded center Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Then on Friday night, they dished Miller to the Sabres for a second-round pick in 2021 and a fifth-round selection in 2022.
“Mixed feelings,” Miller said of the trade on a conference call this morning. “I think we had something really special going on there in Vegas and they’re going to have a great team moving forward. Turning around, it’s going to be great. It’s going to be a great opportunity.
“Seeing what Buffalo did last year through a healthy stretch of the season was very encouraging obviously for the city of Buffalo and the team. (I’m) just excited to hopefully take on a little bit more of a role than I had in Vegas. …
He added: “I … won’t be looking over my shoulder now at what Vegas is doing. I think you’re focused now on the opportunity that you have moving forward. It’s definitely a good one here. You’re just excited for that.”
Of course, the cap problems meant some Golden Knights have experienced “a bit of an uneasy feeling,” Miller said.
They knew trades were coming.
“It’s part of the business,” he said. “Things like this happen, but there is always good things to come of it. Just looking forward now to being in Buffalo.”
Check back later for more on Miller!