BUFFALO, NY - (WKBW) There were no slapshots, backhands or bodychecks on Wednesday. But there were physicals, testing and plenty of pictures.
It was 'report day' for Sabres players as they trickled in to First Niagara Center. Included in the group were goalie Ryan Miller and winger Thomas Vanek. Both veterans are entering the final year of their respective contracts. Both were the subject of offseason trade speculation. Both are still with the Sabres.
Said Miller: "Darcy (General Manger Darcy Regier) has to build a team and maybe he feels that he wants me here. I'm happy to be here obviously. I have a great connection with the city. I've enjoyed my time here. Just looking forward to getting started."
As for Vanek, he's not shocked he's still on Buffalo's roster.
"I'm not surprised at all because I didn't approach anyone in the organization and say 'I want out of here', said Vanek. "I just said at the moment 'I want to see where it goes and I'm not ready to re-sign'. And to be honest I'm not sure they're even ready to re-sign."
Regier says the trade window for dealing Miller and/or Vanek has closed as training camp begins.
"Thomas has been direct, descriptive about his situation and how he's approached it. He's been very professional," said the Sabres GM. "Ryan's been the same, not on the public side, but I think in their situations they want to take a good look at the opportunity they have in becoming unrestricted. And they want to get a better sense of where they are, where the league is, and where we are."
Regier says he is working hard to get a new contract done for restricted free agent center Cody Hodgson. He adds that he will make every attempt to have him on the ice when training camp practices begin tomorrow.
The Sabres open their exhibition schedule on Sunday in Montreal.