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Buffalo Sabres trade Ilya Lyubushkin to the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks hire Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek

Buffalo Sabres trade Ilya Lyubushkin to the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks hire Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek

Buffalo Sabres Trade Ilya Lyubushkin to Anaheim Ducks for 2025 Fourth-Round Pick Late Friday night, Sabres’ General Manager Kevyn Adams disclosed that Russian defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin had been traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a 2025 fourth-round pick.

During the past season, Lyubushkin contributed two goals and 14 points to the Sabres while maintaining an average ice time of 15:01. Impressively, he ranked third on the team in hits, recording 99, and secured the second position in blocked shots with a total of 104. As he steps into the final year of his two-year contract, inked with a $2.75 million cap hit following last summer’s agreement with the Sabres, Lyubushkin continues to make an impact. His five-year NHL journey has seen him in action across 279 games, representing the Arizona Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Sabres.

Originally an undrafted free agent hailing from Russia, Lyubushkin signed with the Arizona Coyotes in 2018, initiating his tenure in the NHL. Over the ensuing four seasons, he played a pivotal role in Arizona’s campaigns, culminating in a playoff qualification in 2020. His performance trajectory demonstrated a steady ascent year after year. The 2022 trade deadline witnessed his shift to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Nick Ritchie and a conditional 2025 second-round draft pick. While donning the Maple Leafs jersey, Lyubushkin contributed two goals and six points over 31 games, maintaining an average ice time of 16:28.

With Buffalo’s recent acquisitions of Erik Johnson and Connor Clifton on July 1st, bolstering their defensive prowess and expanding their defensemen roster to nine, the team’s depth increased significantly. Acknowledging the presence of burgeoning talents such as Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power, and Mattias Samuelsson, Adams strategically orchestrated the trade with the Ducks to optimize the team’s dynamics.

San Jose Sharks Enlist Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek as Scouts to Bolster Organization

The San Jose Sharks have made significant additions to their team by welcoming former players Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek, previously associated with the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks, into their ranks as scouts.

Miller will take on the role of a goalie scout and contribute to goaltending development for the team. His responsibilities are substantial, especially considering San Jose’s performance in the previous season, where they finished at the bottom regarding team save percentage, clocking in at 0.881.

Concurrently, Vanek will serve as an amateur scout focusing on the Minnesota region. Both Miller and Vanek shared the ice with Sharks’ General Manager Mike Grier during his stints with the Buffalo Sabres in 2005-06, 2009-10, and 2010-11.

During his illustrious 18-year NHL career, Miller participated in 796 games, boasting an impressive record of 391-289-88, accompanied by a notable .914 save percentage. His exceptional performance in the 2009-10 season earned him the prestigious Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender. This accolade came after he achieved a remarkable record of 41-18-8 and a .929 save percentage while playing for the Buffalo Sabres.

On the other hand, Vanek’s 18-year NHL journey encompassed 1029 games, during which he netted an impressive 373 goals and accumulated 789 points. His tenure with the Buffalo Sabres spanned nine years, from 2005 to 2013. Throughout his career, he also contributed to teams like the Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Vancouver Canucks.

While Miller and Vanek won’t be able to impact San Jose’s performance on the ice directly, their presence significantly enhances the organization’s credibility. This move arrives at a crucial juncture, as the team, once a dominant force in the Pacific Division, now navigates a comprehensive rebuilding process. Grier embarked on this journey during the recent offseason, prominently marked by drafting American Center Will Smith as the 4th overall pick and orchestrating the trade of reigning Norris-winner Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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